One of the most iconic scenes from The Wizard of Oz is when the Wicked Witch of the West gets water dumped on her. The villainess screams, “I”m melting!” as the water burns her skin and her agony brings an end to her reign of terror over Dorothy and friends.
Who could ever relate to this awful aversion to water? It seems unrealistic and incomprehensible, right?
Not for Alexandra Allen, the Utah teen who was just diagnosed with an extremely rare water allergy. You read that correctly. The allergy is known as aquagenic urticaria, and it causes a reaction to the skin when it comes in contact with water.
Allen”s first memory of her allergy is from when she was on vacation with her family. After taking a dip in the swimming pool, she broke out into insanely itchy and uncomfortable hives. Her dream of becoming a marine biologist has been dashed (that”s not a joke, as she actually wanted to study marine biology), and she has a difficult time avoiding water. Something as simple as rain could potentially make her break out.
Though there are people out there with allergies to gluten, strawberries, peanut butter, and other substances, Allen”s allergy isn”t as easily avoidable. You can cut gluten out of your diet, but how do you avoid water? I suppose it”s time to be thankful you aren”t allergic to the thing that makes up 70% of your body and covers 70% of our planet.