Ivy Angerman

Ivy Angerman

American girl with aquagenic urticaria.
Country: USA

Biography of Ivy Angerman

Ivy Angerman is an American girl who suffers from aquagenic urticaria, a rare condition that causes her to break out in painful hives when in contact with water. Born and raised in Hastings, Minnesota, Ivy, who is now 18 months old, only needs to spend 15 seconds in water for her skin to become inflamed. In October 2017, Ivy was diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria, a condition that causes itchy and painful rashes to appear on her skin, even when she sweats or cries. Her mother, 27-year-old homemaker Brittany, is trying to teach Ivy how to navigate through any situation without tears. Brittany is deeply concerned about her daughter's future, as Ivy's condition may make her a target for mockery and prevent her from experiencing many enjoyable activities. "It's incredibly challenging," she says. "It breaks my heart. I'm devastated by it all." Currently, antihistamines help control Ivy's condition, but her parents fear that her body may eventually stop responding to the medication. If that happens, Ivy's only option will be complete isolation from water. Ivy's family has decided to share her story to help raise funds for medical expenses and purchase specialized medical equipment that can alleviate her symptoms. Ivy is believed to be the youngest known patient with aquagenic urticaria, a condition that affects only about 50 people worldwide. Reflecting on how it all started, Brittany, a mother of three who has been married to Ivy's father, 31-year-old Daniel, for four years, said, "Ivy started getting blisters and a red rash in the bath, and we thought it was the shampoo or soap." "We tried everything, but nothing changed. Then we just put Ivy in the water, and she got blisters again." Since Ivy's diagnosis, her family has had to adapt to her unique needs. Brittany, whose daughter's skin looks as if she were using bleach on it, not bathing her child, adds, "When we tried to use a towel, the blisters on her body would start to itch, so we had to stop wiping her." "When Ivy sweats, the fluid that comes out of her pores causes a rash that starts to turn red." Due to this reaction, Ivy has developed a fear of water. "My daughter used to love water, loved playing with the hose in the backyard during the summer," her mother says. "But now she's terrified of it. And as a mother, it's incredibly sad for me." Brittany is also deeply concerned that Ivy will not be able to participate in many fun activities with her two sisters and peers. "She won't be able to go swimming or enjoy playing at the park," Brittany explains. "And now she's at the age where she wants to be outside." "It's snowy everywhere right now, but we don't let her get close to it, or else she'll have another allergic reaction." Many people simply do not understand how serious Ivy's condition is, so Brittany is worried that her child may face different kinds of problems in the future. "What if someone in school one day decides to pour water on my daughter? I'm really concerned about that," she says. "I'm so afraid that when Ivy grows up, she'll be teased and bullied." "People constantly ask me how she can be allergic to water if humans are made up of water. They don't understand that this can happen and that it's a real thing." Another issue is that Ivy's condition may progress. "An allergist told me about a woman who can't drink anything but diet cola because of her allergy to drinking water," Brittany says. "We don't know if Ivy's condition will worsen to that extent, but she sees an allergist every two months to assess her condition." "I have to keep track of everything—when the rash appears, how it looks, how long it lasts. I have to report everything to the allergist." "I hope my other daughters don't develop anything like this. They haven't shown any signs, but if they do, as a mother, I will be devastated by the news." Despite all the difficulties, Ivy's parents plan to maintain a positive attitude. They hope that one day scientists will develop treatments that can cure aquagenic urticaria so that their daughter can live a normal life. The family plans to raise around $50,000 to help with Ivy's treatment. "We will try to buy a water purifier that we hope will help our daughter's body react less aggressively to water," Brittany explains. "Eventually, we plan to move to a less humid area." "As a family, we are going through a tough time, but we are willing to work every day to find ways to improve Ivy's condition." Aquagenic urticaria manifests as hives that occur when the skin comes into contact with water. Only about 50 cases of this condition have been reported worldwide. In women, symptoms often first appear during puberty. The size of the hives ranges from 1 to 3 mm in diameter and usually appear on the neck, chest, and arms. Some affected individuals experience itching. Once the person stops contacting water, the rash disappears within 30-60 minutes. The exact causes of aquagenic urticaria are unclear, but it is likely that the immune response is triggered by substances dissolved in water. Treatment options include antihistamines, ultraviolet light therapy, steroids, barrier creams, and bath solutions with sodium bicarbonate.

Ivy Angerman

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