Allergy to cold: Urticaria
For most of us, cold weather is tolerable. But for people who are actually allergic to the cold, this weather is deadly.
Cold Urticaria is a condition where some people are allergic to cold weather although rare.
People who are allergic to the cold have severe reactions when exposed to cold weather.
Severity and symptoms vary by person, but typically include red hives on parts of the skin exposed to the cold air. In serious cases, people may experience low blood pressure, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, or shock according to research findings. Rashes just begin minutes after exposure and lasts for almost 2 hours.
Other symptoms include swollen hands when holding a cold drink or swollen lips and/or tongue when taking something cold.
The exact number of people with the condition are unknown, but some health professionals estimate that one in 100,000 people have cold urticaria. Generally, the condition is found in younger adults and those with certain health conditions, such as hepatitis or cancer.
Doctors aren’t sure why some people suffer from cold urticaria; however, there is some evidence the condition is more common in people who have conditions like viral hepatitis or leukemia.
Outside of avoiding cold temperatures, which isn’t always possible, doctors may prescribe antihistimines, which prevents the symptoms from popping up. Some people may even carry an epinephrine autoinjector, or EpiPen, to avoid going into anaphylactic shock.It’s also best to opt for several layers of lightweight, breathable clothes, gloves, a hat and warm shoes.