Growing up in the sunny state of California is a life many would pine for, but for photographer Valentina Bones, it’s a living nightmare.
This is due to the fact Valentina suffers from an extremely rare allergic disorder, which causes her skin to react badly when she comes into contact with water.
Furthermore, whenever she cries or sweats, her body will breakout into a painful rash, which isn’t ideal considering she lives in one of the warmest states in America.
Ten years ago Valentina was diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria, a condition so rare there’s very little data about it, which makes it so difficult to treat.
Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, she still lives in California – a state famous for its beaches and boiling hot weather.
Any contact with warm liquids will cause her skin to breakout in a rash within two minutes – however, she can endure more when in a colder environment, according to the Mail Online.
She describes the feeling akin to ‘frying in hot oil’ when her skin turns red from the rashes. As well as the physical discomfort, there’s a psychological element too, as strangers stare at her causing her to feel self-conscious and insecure.
These factors have caused Valentina to come up with ways to combat and control her unfortunate condition.
Speaking for the first time about her unique situation she explains:
For me, any liquid triggers aquagenic urticaria; water, sweat, saliva and even juice from a juicy fruit. I don’t do any sports or physical activity that I know will result in me getting unwanted attention due to how my skin looks.
I took night classes in college because it was too hot and humid in the classroom during the day.
As long as my body stays dry, my allergy to water does not make my life less happy.
Originally from Budapest, Hungary, she only discovered her allergies after moving to California with her family back in 2007.
After trying, and failing, with several allergy and herbal remedies, she worked out a system in which she stays indoors during California’s rainy season and wears light clothing to avoid sweating when it’s hot.
She’s also worked out a way to take showers without breaking into a rash. In the summer, she’ll wash in cold water as she can cope better with the condition. In the winter she washes with a cloth or takes a lightly warm shower for as little as three minutes.
I wash my hair separately by bending over in the tub, so I don’t have to spend extra time in the shower with water getting in contact with my skin.
I take bubble baths maybe twice a year as a treat, on my birthday or Christmas, which makes me really sad because I adore bath bombs; you can find me at a Lush store smelling everything.
For my face the rashes come out from anything liquid at any temperature; hot or ice cold. On the rest of my body it comes out faster with higher temperature water.
For example, my body can be in a cold pool for half-an-hour without any problems and then it will come out slowly and less painfully.
If I get in a Jacuzzi, bath tub or a steam sauna, the rashes will come out within approximately a minute to two-minutes.
But it also comes out from sweating after the gym or a dog licking me. So if anyone thinks this may be just caused by ‘something in the water’, it’s not.
Tomorrow night I'll flying back to EU for a few weeks. I won't be posting much or at all just on my IG story and Snapchat: pollybonesxo and twitter @therealbonesxo aannndddd I'll try my hardest to out traveling vlogs together for my YouTube… IF YOU NEED TO GET A HOLD OF ME JUST SEND ME A DIRECT MESSAGE HERE (I do take a while to respond) or on WhatsApp if you have my # xoxo
Aquagenic urticaria was only considered a legitimate condition ‘a few years’ ago due to its rarity, however, Valentina hopes her huge social media presence can create awareness for it.
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