Oscar Million, a 2-year-old boy, is thought to be the only child in New Zealand with aquagenic urticaria, a rare allergy that is estimated to affect 40 people around the world. According to New Zealand’sStuff.co.nz,his skin breaks out in a rash when he comes into contact with water, such as when washing his hands or taking a bath. The little boy has no problem drinking water, but even sweating and crying can cause itchy hives.
His mom, Lisa Welbourn, explains the solution they’ve devised: “We give him very quick baths” and otherwise limit his access to water. Unfortunately, there is no cure, although antihistamines and steroid creams help.
The allergy to water is one of more than 20 allergies Oscar has been diagnosed with. He is also allergic to eggs, nuts, wheat, dairy, soy, sesame seeds, corn, peas, coconut, beef, chicken, fish, kiwi, shellfish, bananas, apples, avocados, potatoes, latex, dust mites, and pet fur. His parents hope that he might outgrow some of the allergies in future years.
Everywhere he goes, his mother and other caretakers bring two EpiPens, because Oscar has experienced reactions after touching objects that have been touched by a person who has recently eaten an allergen, or even just from being in the same room with a food allergen. Visitors to his family’s home must adhere to strict rules such as avoiding nuts and eggs for at least 24 hours.
Welbourn never takes Oscar to the supermarket, though he has been to the park. However, Oscar is too young to realize the full danger presented by his allergies. His parents say that as he gets older, they’ll try to let him lead as normal a life as possible.