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Allergic to the Cold?

Posted by Ivey on February 20th, 2014

Ice CubesAs a native southerner, I often say I’m allergic to the cold. Until recently, I had no idea this was not only an actual condition, but one with life-threatening consequences. After learning about Cara Yacino’s journey to a cold urticaria diagnosis and the precautions she takes to control her risk of an allergic reaction, I’ll think twice before carelessly claiming a cold allergy.

According to the Weather Channel’s video that chronicles her allergy (below), Yacino began experiencing hives that she originally thought were due to a food allergy. The initial outbreak occurred while she was drinking a cold coffee drink. However, the hives manifested once more when Yacino put her hand in a cold shark and ray petting tank.

Ultimately, Yacino was diagnosed when her allergist performed an ice test. According to MayoClinic.com, this test involves an ice cube being placed on someone’s skin for a several minutes. If a hive is present once ice cube is removed, the person can be diagnosed with cold urticaria. Learn more about Cara’s journey here:

While the Mayo Clinic suggests the allergy typically subsides within a few weeks or months, sufferers are often prescribed antihistamines to ease the symptoms in the meantime. To help prevent allergy flare-ups, those with cold urticaria should dress warmly during the chilly winter months and layer clothes during the unpredictable temperatures that often occur during Spring and Fall. Limiting outdoor activities in cold temperatures is also helpful. Gloves and napkins can provide much-needed barriers between cold foods and beverages and exposed hands. Space heaters are ideal for providing supplemental heat to areas that might otherwise be cold enough to trigger an allergic reactions.

Perhaps most importantly, people should recognize that cold urticaria is not a seasonal allergy. In fact, Yacino notes that she experienced a break-out while swimming in an 80-degree pool. Like food or pet allergies, cold urticaria requires that sufferers are ever-vigilant.

Want to learn more about cold urticaria? Check out The Weather Channel’s full article.

Have you been diagnosed with cold urticarial? We want to know how you manage your symptoms.

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