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Aquagenic pruritus

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Aquagenic pruritus is a condition in which contact with water of any temperature causes intense itching without any visible skin changes.[1]  The episodes can begin anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes (or more) after contact with water and typically lasts 10 to 120 minutes (average: 40 minutes).[2] The cause of aquagenic pruritus is unknown; however, familial cases have been described.[1][2] Although the condition occurs more commonly in middle-aged and elderly males, aquagenic pruritus has also been observed in women and children. The symptoms of the condition are similar to those seen in patients with other conditions; therefore, a thorough evaluation should be performed to rule out other more serious conditions. Overall, treatment for aquagenic pruritus has been disappointing.[1]
Last updated: 11/10/2008


  1. Auerbach PS. Auerbach: Wilderness Medicine, 5th ed.. Philadelphia: Mosby, An Imprint of Elsevier; 2007;
  2. Habif TP. Physical Urticarias. Habif: Clinical Dermatology, 4th ed. Ebinburgh: Mosby, Inc.; 2004;
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