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Are some people allergic to water?

There was redness and itching, some blisters. Getting out of the shower should have felt refreshing, but all Michaela Dutton felt was miserable and itchy – her bath water was to blame.

Dutton was shocked to learn she was allergic to water, but perhaps she should not have been. While water allergies are extremely rare, almost anything from heat to a dust mote to the nickel in a mobile phone can trigger an allergic reaction.

Talk to any physician who treats allergies, and they’ll liken their job to that of a police detective. Constantly on the hunt for the unknown offender, an allergy consult often seems more like a witness interrogation featuring a litany of probing questions.

Sometimes, the case is tough to crack, because you can be allergic to just about anything. Some people are even allergic to medications that are used to treat allergies, such as corticosteroids.

seldom are these incidents one-of-a-kind phenomena. Even the most unexpected allergic response is likely to be duplicated in another person, somewhere.

In order to make the job easier for fellow allergy investigators, doctors will publish accounts of rare allergic reactions in medical journals and share their findings at medical conferences and on the Internet.