Allergic to Cold Weather

Updated on December 09, 2010
J.S. asks from Kalamazoo, MI
8 answers

I've become allergic to the cold! No, not kidding, this isn't a plea to my hubby for us to move to Fiji. Ever since I had my 2nd daughter last spring I've noticed some differences with my skin. First it was my hands itching when I washed produce. Now, as it is getting cold and I'm outside, I break out in hives on my face, my skin itches (face, ears, hands, legs, tushy), and usually can feel my ears "swelling or burning". I got it today just from walking across the parking lot while shopping. I googled it and found an explanation on that exactly matched it (called cold urticaria).

Who should I go see? A primary care doctor, a dermatologist, an allergy doctor (what are they called?) ?

What can I do next?

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answers from Reading on

I have the same condition. My dermatogist diagnosed me about 5 years ago. I was told there is nothing to do but take an anti-histamine everyday or times that I know that I will be in the cold....fall soccer games, ice hockey games, etc. I was also told it was something that I would have to live with the rest of my life and that it could get worse. It is definitely an auto-immune condition. I can't even eat ice cream without my tongue and gums swelling and itching. It is a very annoying. People think I am crazy when I tell them...they think I just don't want to deal with the cold. But once they see the hives and swelling they are convinced. I just can't stand the itching! Good luck to you and start popping those allergy pills!

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answers from Huntsville on

Yes, see an allergist. A few years ago I thought I might have cold urticaria, but nothing happened with the self-test. So I'm stuck with a weird mystery allergy!

The self-test I did was holding an ice cube on my forearm for about 5-10 minutes. If your arm breaks out in hives, then you do have cold urticaria! If it just gets a little pink & cold, then no.

Cold urticaria can be very dangerous, especially if you go swimming (definitely don't do that in the winter! LOL). An allergist would probably prescribe you an epi pen to keep with you.

I hope you can find an allergist who can help you with this!

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answers from Allentown on

I would see an allergist. I had a problem with hives a few years ago. Thank goodness I haven't had any problems lately but it was thought to be related to my autoimmune disorder. Either way your treatment may be the same. A daily regimine of Claritin. I was also on another similar medicine at night when it was very bad (made me sleepy). But found that the Claritin alone did the trick.

And I'm talking about hives that would sometimes get as big as teacup saucers on my thighs. Ugh, it was not pretty. LOL!

Good Luck! But maybe you can try the Fiji thing too.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My friend's daughter suffers from the exact same thing. I know her fingers will swell up and get red with temperature changes too. I know that in order to control hers she must take Zyrtec (every other I think) day. I am not sure if there is anything else she must do.

I believe Gentile M is correct that it is an auto immune disorder. I'm not sure where to begin so maybe just ask your PCP what the first step is.

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answers from Philadelphia on

My Neighbor has this....I believe it is auto-immune and I would see your primary then a doc that deals with auto-immune....I beleive he/she is called a rheumatologist...I wish I could neighbor can not even touch a cold can of soda without getting hives....good luck!! M.

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answers from Allentown on

Okay I am going to have to google this, myself. I have had this my entire life. I remember going skiing with my family as a kid and breaking out in hives every time. My whole body would be covered. Since I had it from childhood and am now almost 40, I never asked anyone about, but now I see there is actually a name for it. Anyway, what I have done my whole adult life is take a dose of zyrtec when going out in the cold. When I was a kid I just put up with it. I am looking forward to seeing all the answers you get. Thanks for asking the question.



answers from Tulsa on

allergy doc mine was an internest



answers from Philadelphia on

An allergist is who you see if you have allergies. An dermotologist may also be helpful. A dermotologist can prescribe some medicine for your skin when it comes to the hives. I would try taking some benedryll before you go to bed and see if it helps. Watch what kind of laundry soap you are using. It sounds like you have sensitive skin. Yes if it is cold your ears may be bothered. Wear a head wrap when it is cold ouside and a scarf to cover the bottom part of your skin. Watch how hot the water is when you take a shower,this can dry out your skin. Aquaphor or eucerin is also good for the dry skin. I deal with one of my fingers on my left hand getting cracks in them because of the cleaning products we use at work. My skin has a tendency to get dry with it being warm inside then cold outside. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Try some simple things that I mentioned before going to the doctor.

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