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My grandson's skin is extremely sensitive to water. He is in…

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My grandson's skin is extremely...
My grandson's skin is extremely sensitive to water. He is in considerable pain every time he touches water. The GPs have told him to apply moisturiser but this is equally painful. He is 18. Can you help?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Dermatology
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
5/10/2012
Dermatologist: dermdoc19, Dermatologist replied 6 years ago
dermdoc19
dermdoc19, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 4,124
Experience: 30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
Verified
dermdoc19 :

These answers are for informational purposes and do not replace a physician head-to-head visit. A patient-physician relationship is not established.

dermdoc19 :

Does he develop hives when exposed to water or just pain? Has he ever itched with exposure to water? Is the reaction immediate or delayed?

Customer:

No hives that I know of, just pain. Don't think he has itched. Reaction immediate. (Actually, being his grandmother I am not really the best person to answer these questions. I am just very concerned for him and as his parents both work as teachers they don't have as much time to investigate. Incidentally, Daniel has just dropped out of Oxford University due to depression.

dermdoc19 :

Aquagenic pruritus can also include burning, stinging etc. This seems to be what he has.

Customer:

Can you suggest any treatment?

dermdoc19 :

He should have a good medical evaluation to rule out such things as systemic mastocytosis, polycythemia vera, hypereosinophilic syndrome. throbocytopenia first.

Customer:

Hmmm. I hope I can print this out as these terms sound complicated! But thank you.

Customer:

Would these conditions be 'ruled out' by a GP or a dermatologist?

dermdoc19 :

Traditional therapies include alkalinzation of the water to a pH of 8 with baking soda, oral cyproheptadine, Tagamet, and Cholestyramine. However, these have only occasional success. Nonetheless worth trying.

dermdoc19 :

Zostrix HP applied three times a day for a month has been used. However, this may not be along term solution.

dermdoc19 :

PUVA (psoralen plus ultraviolet A) light may be tried.

Customer:

Can I buy these over the counter?

dermdoc19 :

There is no standard solution but these are some things to try.

dermdoc19 :

Obviously he can avoid water and use Cetaphil Moisturizing cleanser instead.

dermdoc19 :

Tagamet and Zostrix are OTC.

Customer:

Right. This gives us something to work on. Thank you very much Dr Oppenheim. Ann

Customer:

Do we close?

dermdoc19 :

Yes, unless you have additonal questions

dermdoc19 :

He should see his medical doctor. A simple blood test can rule many of those things out. Most patients are otherwise healthy.

Customer:

Right. Thank you very much. No further questions.

dermdoc19 :

It is curious. I had a patient yesterday with this problem! That is why my recall is so crisp.

Customer:

Aha!!!

dermdoc19 :

Alcohol tends to make this worse.

Customer:

Thank you. If his parents wish to pursue it I will leave it with them.

dermdoc19 :

good.

dermdoc19
dermdoc19, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 4,124
Experience: 30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
Verified
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Dermatologist: dermdoc19, Dermatologist replied 6 years ago
I remember one more thing. Sometimes, taking an aspirin 1/2 hour before water exposure may help.
I do think he should see a physician about his problem and be sure to take along my hopefully valuable suggestions. Many regular MD's are not that familiar with this entity since it is quite rare.
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