Growing up in New York, I experience what I like to think are hot hot summers and long cold winters. One of my best friends claims she is “allergic to the cold”, I have always wondered if this is even possible, how cold you be allergic to the cold? In the cold without enough layering Victoria, my friend, would break out in hives and have to put on more jackets, layers hat etc. I decided to look into this to see if she was just claiming some sort of illness.
After research I found a disease called “cold urticaria”, this is a skin reaction to the cold, so maybe Victoria was right! Cold urticaria is described as, “Skin that has been in contact with cold develops reddish, itchy welts (hives),” according to The Mayo Clinic website. This disease is more frequently seen in younger people, teenagers, and this disease also goes away as one ages. Not only is this reaction common in cold weather but it is also extremely common to come across cold urticaria when swimming in cold pools or other bodies of water. According to The Mayo Clinic website, some symptoms include, temporary reddish, and itchy welts on the part of the skin that came in contact with the cold temperatures. Other symptoms include, worsening of the reaction as skin warms, swelling of hands when coming in contact with something cold, and finally the swelling of areas of the face much as the lips when contacting a cold food or drink.
There are many types of cases with cold urticaria when the situation is very serious. In Victoria’s case she does not need to worry about this, she only experiences hives and other rashes on her body. It was very interesting to learn that this disease I thought was a myth is actually valid!