Cold Allergies and What Can Be Done About Them

What exactly is an allergy to the cold, and what can be done about it? I was recently diagnosed as having an allergy to the cold, and although the doctor tried to explain it to me, I didn’t fully understand what it is. She said the only way to fight off the allergic reaction was to take an antihistamine before going outside. I was wondering if that was the only course of prevention, or if there was some other way.
Pam Smith – High School Student – Ontario, Canada

Cold Allergies and What Can Be Done About Them

Dr. Greene`s Answer:

The immune system is an intricate, interconnected network designed to protect our bodies from the dangers of the world around us, especially the danger of invasion from infectious organisms of all types or from the civil war of our own cancerous cells turned against us. The immune system includes many types of white blood cells, lymph vessels, lymph nodes, a host of specific antibodies, cilia (hair cells for sweeping away unwanted particles), the spleen, tonsils, adenoids, and our largest organ — the flexible, complex barrier we call skin.

An allergy happens when part of the immune system goes awry. In its enthusiasm to protect us, the response by the immune system is sometimes so exuberant that it is worse than whatever precipitated it. People can develop allergies to a wide variety of things, including pollen, dust, animal dander, foods, and viruses. Some individuals have an allergic response to being in cold air or water.

Symptoms of Cold Allergy

This allergic response can take several forms, from rashes to wheezing – and then some! The main symptoms might be on the skin, in the blood, in the urine, in the nose or in the chest. Cold allergies can even cause generalized fatigue and decreased ability to learn.

Some people develop hives on the skin when they encounter cold temperatures. This condition, called cold urticaria, is the most common type of hives caused by a physical condition. The hives are produced by a rapid release of histamine brought about by IgE antibodies and eosinophils (a type of white blood cell often involved in allergic reactions) in response to the cold. Rapid cooling, as from the evaporation when one gets out of a swimming pool, can trigger cold urticaria even on a warm day. For people with cold urticaria, swimming in very cold water is quite dangerous, sometimes even causing death.

Treatment for Cold Allergy

Treatment of cold urticaria involves avoiding the cold, when possible, and taking antihistamines. The antihistamines are best taken before exposure to cold temperatures to block some of the histamine release. Many of the over-the-counter antihistamines interfere with learning. I recommend a nonsedating drug, such as loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec).

Underlying Conditions

Sometimes cold urticaria is a symptom of another problem, such as cryofibrinogenemia, cryoglobulinemia, or syphilis. Even when it is not, you can develop cold urticaria after receiving a blood transfusion from someone who has it. Most people don’t know that allergies can be transmitted in transfusions, but they can (Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, WB Saunders, 2000)! For some people, cold urticaria is a lifelong condition; for others, it is temporary — only during and after an infection, such as mycoplasma or mononucleosis.

Both mononucleosis and mycoplasma infections can produce another type of cold allergy in the blood. Following these and a variety of other viral infections, exposure to the cold can cause anemia from allergic bursting of some of the red blood cells. Anemia can result in fatigue and other symptoms, including decreased ability to learn.

Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria is another specific type of cold allergy, often associated with syphilis, in which cold temperatures make the urine turn red with blood. These people should avoid being chilled until the effects of the underlying infection have ended.

Triggers

Breathing cold air can also trigger nasal congestion and wheezing. Sometimes this is a purely physical effect. This happens in two ways.

First, cold air affects an important defense mechanism called mucus transport. The entire respiratory system is coated with a very thin mucous blanket. Cold air stimulates an increase in mucus production, but mucus (like other substances), becomes thicker in colder temperatures.

The second area where cold air physically affects respiratory health is in the nose tissue. The hardy nose is a remarkable organ designed to condition inhaled air to protect the delicate internal structures. When breathing through the nose, you may breathe in air at 40 or 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but within a quarter of a second, the air temperature is quickly brought to 98.6. Many tiny blood vessels, known as capillaries, bring about this temperature exchange. When a person breathes cold air, the tissues lining the nose swell as the capillaries dilate, bringing warm blood to heat the cool air. Swollen capillaries in the nose are the cause of nasal congestion (nasal congestion is backed-up blood, not increased mucus). In addition to the congestion, the mucus in the nose, as we’ve said, increases and becomes thicker. This happens more in some people than in others. Thus cold air, by itself, can produce both nasal congestion and stuffiness. These can be treated with decongestants and/or antihistamines.

Prevention

Sometimes the runny nose, congestion, and/or wheezing are a true allergic response to cold temperatures. If this is the case, preventive medicines such as cromolyn (Nasalcrom) or fluticasone (Flonase) can work well for the nose, and cromolyn (Intal), nedocromil (Tilade), fluticasone (Flovent) or the like, can work well to prevent wheezing. A variety of natural remedies have also been proven to help prevent these types of allergies, including quercetin/vitamin C, stinging nettle, saline nose drops, saline eye drops, and a nightly massage.

The most important step in treating allergies is to identify what triggers them. You are on your way, Pam, with the observation that cold causes your symptoms. Now that you know this, you can work with you doctor to find the best combination of treatments to keep your allergic response in check and allow your immune system to get on with more important business.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. Hari

    Thanks Dr. Greene for your post.

    I have skin irritation even just below normal room temperature, please see if you can help me to understand better and find a solution to the same.

    Brief back ground: I restored my health to a very great degree from fibromyalgia by following alternate methods after 15 years. Still I suffer from CFS, but little. So I plan my work and travel carefully. The fibromyalgia symptoms started to worsen when I was living in cold weather in NY between 1998 and 2001. Currently I am 42 years, and living in India in a tropical weather condition.

    The techniques I followed are: 1. Dietary supplements, change in diet and restorative yoga.

    In every aspect I designed a specialized routine that suits me over a period of time through self-study and discovery.

    Current condition: Part of muscles surrounding calf still needs to recover and when I walk or do exercise I feel lot of pain and takes two to three days to recover and I feel very uncomfortable, reducing my productivity. Also feel continues fatigue after the exercise. So I stopped yoga two years ago and I am doing lot better and may start yoga any time.

    Skin irritation issue: Even just below room temperature, when I turn on fan or air conditioner leg muscles start feel stiff and muscles feel pain. That is one part. Other part is skin that exposes to continuous air flow, feel burning sensation and disturbs my productivity and sleep.

    Once I go into normal temperature or slightly above room temperature, in 30 minutes I become normal. In winter I take about 2 hours with warm clothing.

    It took me several years to understand that during winter I cover myself with two or three blankets, and wear thermal wear and sweat wear, plus have gloves and monkey cap for a comfortable sleep.

    Ironically, in summer when I turn on Air Conditioner to cool the room, even at 80 F, I had to cover myself with rug and cover my years for comfortable sleep.

    The progress I had so far: When I continuously take high protein and premium multivitamins, I start to feel good, muscles pains go away and feel active most of the day with harmonious energy levels. Due to financial instability, once I stop the expensive imported supplements, again in two to three weeks fibromyalgia symptoms start to appear, and CFS becomes intense.

    Currently I also have to sleep two hours during day (after 8 to 10 hours of sleep during night) to be productive during the day. This is much better than 14 to 16 hours of sleep few years ago.

    Also recently I started to gain grip on my ontology and training myself to be more healthy, fun and loving and I see progress with that technique, still some other support might accelerate my progress.

    I appreciate if you can help to understand the condition better and find an effective solution.

    Weather conditions in the area I live:

    Winter temperatures: Avg low 60 F, avg high 84 F

    Summer: Avg low 75 F avg high 100 F

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  2. Rhea Norwena Factor

    Thank you so much for the information about cold allergy i’ve been suffering from this for almost 2years and i take antihistamines just to lessen my burdens. And with this whole thing i learned a lot about my condition and it is so beneficial for my case because i have read a complete data about my recent state. More powers!

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    • You are very welcome, Rhea. All the best to you! Many people have still not heard of cold allergies – but hopefully we’re spreading the word to help reduce the burden for people who have this.

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  3. Maurice

    thank you for the knowledge

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  4. Sharon

    Hi. I came from Malaysia where the weather there is hot and humid. Recently i’ve moved to UK during winter. Due to the changed of weather, my skin tends to have breakouts whenever I go different places around UK during winter. What should i do?

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  5. Abdulrahman

    Hello, I don’t know how to describe my problem but I’ve been suffering from allergy in winter for many years since I were around 16 years old, whenever I go out I get that itchy feeling throughout my chest and my back, when I was younger I used to get those itchy hives on my arms but now I no longer see them at all.
    Also even if I’m in a warm room and the temperature is warm not cold and if I got over reacted for example do some psychical exercises or got angry I get that itchy feeling.
    In Summer it’s very rare to get that, unless it get chilly cold It might happen again, I didn’t see any doctor and I don’t take any medic, does this means that I’m suffering from this Cold urticaria?

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    • Naif

      Hello Abdulrahman
      Did you have any reply from dr Greene? I have the same problem as you. It always happens in Winter season.

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  6. Dheeraj

    Hi i am 25 years old. I am suffering from allergic cold only in summers when sitting under a.c. and in winters everything is right. What is the treatment for this?

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  7. ifeyinwa stephen

    My son is 1 now and he is always getting this stuffy nose anytime it is cold or cold breeze. I took him to see an ENT and I was told he has adenoid enlargement. He gave us some drugs which gave him a relief, but the situation came back after awhile. I went back and was given another prescription of loritadine and nasal drop. The nasal drop worsens my boys case, but when the weather became hot, he got relieve. Now the weather is cold and he has a stuffy nose again. Do I repeat the drug again?

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  8. R White

    When I was a child, I would vomit when cold. My mother’s cousin was my doctor, and I thought he was crazy when he said I was allergic to cold. My son has cold urticaria. Now I realize my vomiting was because my constant fatigue was bradycardia caused by childhood rheumatic fever. My pacemaker keeps things going now, and it only took two cardiac arrests to get anyone to take my fatigue and memory loss seriously. I lost my career because of the brain damage. Buy a clue–women CAN have heart problems without high blood pressure or cholesterol.

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    • Wow, what a journey. I’ve very sorry for all you’ve gone through, but glad that you’re out there now warning others!

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  9. md abdul matin

    I am now 53 years old. in December 1983 first I noticed my throat was making too much thick mucus. then I was in Bangladesh. I was feeling very uncomfortable. since than I saw many ENT specialist. at last according to their advice my tonsil was removed in 1987. after remove the tonsil my mucus in throat condition got more worse. in 1989 I came to uk. I told ENT specialist my situation in luton hospital, uk. doctor check up my throat. he did not find anything wrong. at last in 2000 I went to Bangladesh again. I saw an ENT specialist. the doctor told me I got allergy to cold and dust. he prescribe me allergy tablet. after one month I came to uk and I saw my GP he gave me cetirizine. after took cetirizine 3 years I was fully cured. then I stopped taking cetirizine. after few months I got same problem again. doctor prescribe me cetirizine again. but this time cetirizine did not work. then my GP prescribe me montilukast 10 mg tablet. after taking montilukast I was cured again. but about few years before started another problem, that is I feel cold physically and every year getting worse. specially my feet is too much cold and feeling cold straight way affect my throat and make mucus in the throat. but used the extra cloths and I use extra heater in the room. I do not go out when weather is windy and cold. it was in my control. but last year in January for asthma I was taking inhaler. after taking inhaler I got so many problem like too much mucus in throat, body shaking, hungry, weakness, short breathing, feeling too much cold physically and when I go to bed and cover body with quilt feeling hot etc. nearly 10 months I discussed with my GP. but he did not find any reason. at last I fond the reason after read the inhaler leaflet. it was inhaler side affect. I stopped to take inhaler. many problem gone but making mucus in the throat exist. now I am taking montilukast and cetirizine both but still I am getting same problem. feeling cold physically, it is out of control and because of cold I am getting too much thick mucus in the throat. now it is very difficult for me to maintain my daily life. for cold I had blood test but it is normal. sorry for my weak English.

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    • raman somani

      how he got relief

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  10. swathi

    Is there any perminent solution?

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  11. Chelsea

    My husband has been breaking out in this red, blotchy rash off and on in the mornings for the past couple of months. He gets dizzy, and then his face, neck, arms, and hands break out in an itchy/burning rash. It usually comes on quick and then goes away within 45minutes to an hour. I have thought of everything and can’t seem to figure out what it is.
    Any ideas?

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  12. kshetrimayum Gitanjali devi

    I am very much helped by your guidelines.

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  13. Emmanuel Chimusolo

    On 27 Feb 2015, I came home after work, sat in the living room to watch TV as usual and around 6-7pm felt something bite me just on my lower back like a mosquito. Since I was leaning forward because of the laptop on my table, my lower back was exposed so I figured it was a mosquito, got insecticide, sprayed the room and closed the windows. To my surprise, this itchy feeling started spreading all over my body and whenever I scratched, bumps started developing on my skin and fast. It itched the whole night and when I woke in the morning I took a cold shower and for a moment they disappeared, a couple of minutes the itching started and oh boy … my arms, inner thighs, my back, facial skin around the nose and back of my ears, my lower belly..it was an eruption and the more I scratched, the more it came out. For the last 3 years I have probably take less than 15 warm baths and its usually in hotels when I visit cold countries. I love cold showers and in summer I even take 4 in a day (morning, just after lunch on a working day, immediately after work and if go to bed past midnight, last shower) because I hate the heat and the discomfort it brings.

    Imagine my surprise when I Googled this and found that the allergy I have is called cold urticaria caused by cold weather and cold stuff. I find it hard to believe even though all the symptoms mentioned here are all happening to me. For example, I wore shoes and socks the whole afternoon yesterday so I thought..no problem feet are covered up but then sweat came and my feet started itching when in socks and shoes. The crack below my lower back is also a problem area when its warm and this area is worse because of the delicate skin which easily breaks when I scratch (talk about pain in the ass…lol). I haven’t even seen a doctor yet because I am in shock. Its even harder to explain to my African folks what this is. My wife is a nurse and I noticed the scratching with her a couple of months ago and I didn’t believe her when she said its caused my coldness and I would usually stop her from scratching her self the way she did. Today is the second day and if it doesn’t stop I will see a dermatologist in 2 days time. Till then it’s happy scratching. :)

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    • Emmanuel Chimusolo

      This morning am looking at my skin and it’s smooth like nothing happened to it a couple of hours ago. Just wondering where the hell those things are hiding???

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  14. Sandra patnode

    In December I came down with the typical runny nose. By Januar my asthma was bothering me. Was put on two courses of antibiotics and prednisone. Diagnosed with bronchitis. Using two inhalers and a nebulizer. Sxs still not clear but taking another course of prednisone and an allergy pill. I suggested to my primary about seeing a pulmonary DR because I figure they would know better how to help me. He said I was not bad enough. This has been 9 weeks now and it has put a damper on my skiing and gym time. What are your thoughts about seeing a specialist? Thanks for your time :) Sandi

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  15. Anita

    I have gotten a painful rash for most of my adult life after being out in the cold. A couple of years ago, I went to an allergist who was unable to reproduce it by putting an ice cube on my arm. The place where he tested has never broken out before – I told him this. I felt like he didn’t believe me, or just didn’t want to test the area where I’ve actually had hives before. I usually get the hives on my inner thigh, inner knee, back of knee, crook of elbow, upper belly (under breasts). Sweaty areas more prone?

    I’ve recently learned of “Reflex Cold Urticaria” where ” generalized cooling of the body induces…wealing”. I haven’t really noticed if touching cold things or eating/drinking cold foods bring on symptoms. I do get nasal congestion in the cold – thought that everybody had that. Sometimes an icy drink makes me cough, but I just thought it “went down wrong”.

    I have read accounts that sound much worse than any of my experiences with it, so I have just counted myself as lucky and tried to live with the annoyance.

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  16. stephen

    I have been suffering with cold urticaria since 2005. Every winter has been a constant torture of leg arm and back scratching, with creams and potions doing very little help.Then to be hit by another attack of endless scratching just longing for the warm summer days for some rest from this curse. But not anymore i think i might of stumbled upon an end to this misery known as Cold Urticaria! The last few weeks have been bliss. No sign of an outbreak.

    I have recently stumbled upon Olive Leaf Extract. If this stuff is every thing it claims to be then WOW! Search it out on the web. There are more than enough sites praising the benefits to keep you occupied for days. In fact try finding a site that doesn’t praise its benefits — that would be a challenge. It seems to be working for me.

    Please remember to consult your doctor or physician before trying any new medication.

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    • Thanks for this great info. I would love to hear other people’s experiences and opinions about Olive Leaf Extract. Has anyone else here tried it? Did it work for you? Are there any side effects?

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  17. jane

    My granddaughter at two years and three months was diagnosed with cold uticaria. She was in the snow at one year old and had no problem. Then she had eye surgery, being cross eyed, and after that we feel she developed uticaria. So worried about her. Is it ok for us to give her vitamin C with quercitin? What else can grandma do?

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    • Kate

      My 10 year old daughter has just been diagnosed with this condition, we realised cold was a problem for her as any exposed skin would break out in hives. She’s only had it for about 6 weeks but as I live in England and it’s the winter (just turning into spring) I haven’t experienced the worst weather yet, just the tail end so have no idea how bad she may get. Although it seems that this condition is changeable anyway!
      We are off to Florida soon and reading the comments of some people here I am worried about how she will be in the pools and waterparks. Her school swims in the summer in their outdoor pool and I can see that as our summers here are not particularly hot she is likely to have to be excluded from this now and I feel so sorry for her.
      As I do not want to pump her full of antihistamines if I can avoid it has anyone had success with any natural supplements?

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  18. Elyn

    Hi, I have this cold allergy, and every after 3 days, my skin gets itchy like I was pierced by hundreds of needles. So I have to take CITIRIZEN each time it attacks. It started when I was 19 yrs old, and I really can’t concentrate on my studies, hobbies, etc. every time it itches. Is their any possible solution to get rid of it besides taking tablets? Is this really a lifetime allergy? Please help me and share your advice. Thank you and God bless.

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    • timo

      Hi. Sorry if my english is not clear enough.
      I have a couple of tips for you:

      1.
      You should keep your room temperature
      comfortable for you and use all sorts of
      air blowing machines to keep streams
      in your room steady.

      2.
      You should take vitamin c crystals (powder)..

      3.
      You shoud take aged garlic extract..

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    • Susan

      Telfast (Fexofenadine Hydrochloride) is better than citirizen 180mg each tablet and if it’s really bad like mines you can take up to 6 to 8 tablets a day but that is in extreme cases where you can’t even wash you hands in the house.

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  19. gina

    Hi my 6 year old son seems to be getting rashes after coming in from the cold weather. It starts off bright red and then he develops chickenpox like bumps on area that was exposed.
    I was wondering if anyone can explain what a cold allergy looks like?

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    • Samantha

      That’s what it looks like, it’s red with white bumps or sometimes even red bumps. I’m 19 and have the condition myself.

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    • Kate

      Has anyone heard of current cold desensitisation program’s? I have read a few clinical articles on this but they were old and wondered if there was anywhere that could treat this. It seems simple enough in that your body is gradually exposed to more cold over a period of time but it’s not the sort of thing I want to take a chance on trailing at home without proper support!

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  20. JM

    I had this horrible terrible burden also, but there is HOPE!

    I developed it at age 19 ONLY on my face. My face of all things and it really hampered me. I would get it in AC in the summer, and I would get swelling and hives on the face. In winter I couldn’t walk farther than 2 feet for 2 minutes.

    When I was diagnosed at age 24, I was studying for the bar and was put on doxepin after a nasty bout from the AC. I hated this drug and became so fearful of ever being with it in winter that I eventually just came off it. The embarrassment the condition caused me for years-having to explain the allergy to peers “your allergic to what???”-dating, and hiding the truth, dreading fire drills in winter at work-ugh…then about a year before I was married, I was getting shiners under the eyes, bruises that were related to my allergy to the cold. I had a job by then that required me to walk in town for blocks to the train, even in winter. I was given the new drug at that time, Protopic and it changed my life. It got rid of the shiners, and I used it sparingly on my face post-exposure. I never had another episode. It went away.

    Today, 15 years later I have been free of all angiadema/weals/hives and can ski, I can take a sleigh ride, I can walk a long time in cold, sub zero temps to my job and I have no reaction. If anyone develops this very annoying curse, suddenly, know that it can go away, you can be cured, of course mine was not systemic, my reactions were face, eyes, and eyebrows, never swimming, never cold foods, only face. But it was severe. I believe my walking to the train, though it caused me anxiety, little by little gave me immunity to the condition, like an allergy shot.

    Good luck, fell your pain all.

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  21. Rammi

    I am 25 years old. When I’m exposed to sun or wind my color changes immediately. It turns into a dark colour. Please suggest some tips to get rid of this problem. My skin never looks fresh for long time :( :(

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  22. KRANTZ DAVID T.YABO

    What specific way or treatment can be used to prevent and stop this kind of allergy? It really affects my social life. Please help me for this problem.

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    • KRANTZ DAVID T.YABO

      I am 19 years old. I am wondering, how did I get this skin problem? I have suffered this kind of disease for almost a month.

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      • Maggie

        I’m 29 and my cold urticaria started 2 years ago for no known reason. From everything I’ve read, seen, tried, etc there is nothing that will magically fix it…sorry. I did come across a few case studies where elimination of medicine or food relieved cold urticaria. One person developed it after starting a medicine, stopped and the hives went away, started again and the hives came back, and stopped again and they went away. One person eliminated gluten and their hives went away. You could always think about if you started eating something or taking something in the past few months which could have triggered it. Or you could always try going gluten free. Personally I am on a gluten free, grain free, dairy free, legume free, nut/seed free, and msg free diet but mine haven’t gone away. I have autoimmune problems though and every other problem I have is a LOT better.

        I don’t take any antihistamines as long-term medicines have previously messed up my whole system and I’m not willing to go back to that….like I said, I am a LOT better.

        But there are things that help so I will make you a list. It is a pain to do these different things but at the same time will help keep the hives under control.

        1. Wear two pairs of socks (but make sure the under layer is moisture wicking).
        2. Wear a pair of thermal leggings under your jeans (not the standard waffle ones as they are not very warm. Moisture wicking is also recommended). As a girl I have found some fleece lined leggings and they are great but I don’t know if there are ones that would be socially acceptable for a guy to wear.
        3. Don’t bother swimming unless it is warm water. 10 min is my max before developing hives and then there is no good way to get warm unless there is a hot tub.
        4. Scarves, gloves, and hats are your friend.
        5. I always wear slippers in the house as the cooler air on my feet while walking around triggers hives. This is always worse in summer since the air conditioning makes the floors cold.
        6. Avoid sweating anywhere it is cold or cool. The moisture on your skin can cause hives so I have to be careful how much I exercise and if I do I need a long sleeve shirt to throw on afterwards so my skin temperature doesn’t drop too fast even though my core is warm.
        7. I used to wear a lot of ballet flat shoes without socks. In summer I can wear whatever I want but in spring and fall I need socks and closed toe shoes and in late fall and all of winter I wear boots as anything with airflow can trigger hives.
        8. Get yourself a heated blanket and start paying attention to the earliest signs. If I start to feel cold or notice subconscious itching I immediately get under a heated blanket (or heating pad) and it goes away quickly. If I wait until it gets bad it takes a lot longer for them to go away.
        9. If you are going to eat/drink something cold have a hot beverage handy to sip. Drinking or eating too much cold foods won’t give me hives but it will make me feel pretty awful.
        10. I’ve noticed certain areas won’t develop hives but will get angioedema which is much harder to get rid of…the bottoms of my feet and my hands. So if you start to notice those areas are cold or you develop a much larger bump, get that warm fast.
        11. Warm/hot water warms me up the fastest but then I’m wet and can get cold again so I prefer the heating pad. Plus if I get hives anywhere I also get them on my thighs so getting wet generally involves a full bath.

        It sucks. It really does. And it sucks to have to explain to your friends and family that, no you can’t do that because it is too cold. And it can be embarrassing to need to be dropped off at the door during winter sometimes. However, last winter I had hives almost daily and this winter I really only get them once a week and they are fairly mild when I do get them.

        Also keep in mind hives can be triggered by cold or cooling temperatures. It may not be very cold out but if you cool down fast (like when it is windy) then you can get them.

        Best of luck.

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    • Darwin Panganiban

      I’m 38 and suffering from this allergy since I was 33. It really effects my life. Please help me to get rid of this allergy.

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  23. Leah McCord

    I’m curious to know why, if cold urticaria can be passed through blood transfusions, The Red Cross has no limitations on people who suffer from it giving blood donations? I, myself, have actually contacted The Red Cross and recieved a response back stating that there was no evidence that blood donation can pass CU.

    Is The Red Cross not educated in blood?

    I would really love a reply as I am a frequent blood donator with O neg type blood.

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  24. Kiana Wright

    I have had cold urticaria since I was about 5 or 6 years old, and I am 19 now. I have always wondered, how did I get this particular skin disorder? Also is mine genetic? How did it form?

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  25. same

    Doctor, I am having runny nose/sore throat/sneezing when i fly, recently I am getting runny/stuffy nose and sneezing if I go outside in winter. I was suffering from sore throat since last year. Its clear phlegm. Adding to that i had a tick bite last year summer. Please advice any thoughts. Thank you.

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  26. JEFFGISH

    does it lead to weight loss?

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  27. cherry rose deniega

    hi i am a13 yrs. old girl… i have also the allergy called cold urticaria. every 12 midnight sometimes 2 o’clock in the morning it will itch just like I’m bitten by a mosquito. what tablet i would take or this is just my psychological.

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    • Vipul

      Hi, I have also the same problem, Sometimes as midnight, it was like thousands of mosquitos bite me, huh, I am using Cetcip(a tablet, usually available in INDIA). And it’s effect is wonderful. I am able to get normal in just 10 to 15 min.

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  28. Sharon

    Hello, my 2 year old daughter also has urticaria and I’m so sad for her. The strangest thing is that she developed it over night. It’s been very hot here in CA and because of that I took her to a water park. She played and got wet, and 10 minutes later her entire body was full blown with hives. I dried her up but she was in so much pain still. Her allergy specialist suggested that an Epi pen isn’t needed, but I feel that she might need one just incase.. I’m against giving her prednisone because of the side effects and Benadryl. Is it possible she’ll outgrow it?? Or will it get worse over time? I guess I’m hoping to hear that it’s a temporary thing and she’ll be able to enjoy being a happy kid in the hot summers as other kids do as they freely splash around in the water.

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    • Nicola123

      Hi I am 22 and living with this, I have had it ever since I can remember, my Dr proscribes me with Fexofenadine, its not magic but it relives some of the symptoms at least.
      I find that my allergy comes out all over, I can’t eat cold foods or drink cold drinks as they make my tounge swell, my hands will swell when exposed to cold temperatures and I get a rash all over my body. Nasal congestion happens all the time for me also.

      As a child it was never this bad, there have been reports that it usually lasts around 5 years, but mine only really seems to get worse… I can’t imagine it’ll go away but I really hope your daughters does.
      An epi pen really shouldn’t be needed unless you’re planning on throwing her in a frozen lake anytime soon, try not to worry about it :) its frustrating, and make sure dr’s listen. I remember once my mum and I had been to the Doctors for weeks on end and no one believed her, they just thought I was lying until she made me stand outside in a t-shirt on a particularly windy day!
      Cold water is a trigger for mine, or cold exposures whilst wet, for instance getting out of a swimming pool to a colder temperature will make mine come out, its annoying, but you learn to deal with it.
      I hope some of this helps a little…

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      • Subrata Majumdar

        I am suffering with cold allargy science last many years. My main problem is that, in winter I used to suffer more. Continiously cough comes out, but sinzing, coughing , running nose is not there. What is treatment you advise.

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      • Veljo

        In May I noticed a rash on my hands, next day on stomach and then legs and basically all over except back and face! I went to many dermatologist no one had a clue about it. Now when cold came my hand swell and face gets a bit numb and has this burning feeling. Rash is more like hives now and still there all the time. Some of it goes away only to appear in diferent places. I wonder if those hives are related to my cold allergy that my doctor diagnosed me with just days ago. I mean they are constantly there even if im in very warm weather for months…im so troubled with it. Will this allergy go away. Im 34 and never had problem with cold before.

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      • Arun

        Does any medication help prevent the appearance of cold urticaria?

        My six year old son has suddenly started reacting to cold temperatures. At the moment it is mainly his face and if you take him into warm temperatures it then vanishes within five to ten minutes. Does that sound like your symptoms?

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      • Ana

        Hahaha. Same thing happened when I was a kid. Doc thought I was crazy when I told him I was allergic to the cold. He made me put my arm under cold running water. When he saw my arm break into hives he couldn’t believe it.

        I agree it sucks, but you just learn how to deal with it. I have had this allergy for 33 years now. And no cure.

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    • Ana

      Don’t know if you have found a solution. But I have had this allergy since I was 1 and now I’m 33 with 2 children. For the first 15 years of my life I went to doctors and specialist after specialist tried meds that only made me drowsy and just didn’t work — especially for a child. They said take it before cold exposure, but sitting on cold cement or on the ground would trigger a reaction, a cool breeze, or the freezer section at the grocery store, so that would mean I would have to take it everyday.

      So I told my parents I wanted no more meds or doctors. I just learned how to deal with it :( I was told I might grow out of it when my cycle started and nope still allergic. They said maybe when you have children. Nope still allergic.

      I still got to do the summer getting wet thing, but my parents had to keep a close eye on me. Had dry clothing near to change me right away or if we were at the beach they would have warm water in the car to warm me up quick or at home a warm bath. The warm water get rid of the hives and makes me feel better the fastest. I would love to say it’s gotten better as I’ve grown. But since I’m an adult now I spend less time outside so I guess I dont breakout as easy. I have noticed that I have more tolerance in the cold water when swimming now opposed to when I was younger, but I only swim when it’s very hot or on vacation in warm waters.

      I have read there are different types of reactions. Growing up I had extreme reactions. I passed out a few times and had extreme swelling that took more than 5 hours for swelling to go away. My lips even swell when I eat Popsicles.

      Ultimately I just had to understand that I had to bundle up and stay warm when it’s cold.

      Sorry if this is bad news. But it sounds worse than it really is. I’d rather be allergic to the cold than to the sun. Hey, I just gotta put on a sweater and I’m good. You just gotta work with it. I’m glad my parents were ok with me not taking all the meds. Just keep an eye on your child and enjoy life.

      There could be far more life treating conditions someone could have.

      Best of luck!
      God bless

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    • Kate

      Hi my 10 yr old daughter has started suffering from this out of the blue. She has always been fit healthy and allergy free. There isn’t any obvious explanation for it at all

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    • Boblyn

      I don’t want to discouraged you. But I had this cold urticaria since I was a kid. I just found out now the name for it. Cold environment or being in cold water (pools and sea) even being in rain for 10 minutes or even less triggers this redness and itchy skin. Even strong cold winds causes it. It usually starts as small swollen spot then they will combine together creating huge swolen patch.
      The reaction is the same everytime but i can say that i can slowly tolerate minor cold temperature. It used to develop quite rapidly even slightly cool breeze. But its still bad swimming in the sea and cold pools.
      I’m already 24 and still suffer from it but luckily enough the weather here in Perth hasn’t been too rough. Winter is slowly approaching and I hope i would slowly develop immunity to it. I have only been in Australia for the last 6 years and coming from tropical country Philippines, i didn’t really had a chance to expose myself to cold temperature to develop immunity.
      I did notice that the first winter in australia, my reaction is a lot worse and more often. Last year’s winter i had less episode of reaction.
      I hope that your kid will outgrow this but so far in my case i haven’t fully develop the immunity in my 6 years battling winter but i’m keeping positive. And i continue to hate swimming in pools and sea. Except heated pools…^^___^^

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  29. dawn

    I had allergy to cold uticaria as a child 51now and for 7yr had wheezing breathlessness and coughing from Nov to April being treat for asthma steroids inhalers seem to make me worse I cough till I am sick can’t talk as two sentences in get breathless and start coughing I feel it is the allergy what do others take to stop this

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    • dana

      Hi I also have cold uticaria, I am 33 years old and it started to be worse after giving birth to my child last year. I am getting hives and itchy skin everytime it´s a bit windy or cool weather, also getting this unstoppable cough every winter, which I suspect it might be cuased by the urticaria…any idea what can I do to stop this? I am brestfeeding and don´t want to take the antihistamines…is there any homeopatic/alternative way?

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      • linda

        take allegra, its the only cure.

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        • brenda dick

          Allegra is not a cure. There is no cure. Some of these meds also can stop working with no warning. Please be careful. Follow your Doctor’s orders. Be safe…..

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        • Ramona

          My doctor give me Zantac which is histamine (2 blocker,) 2 times a day. He also gave me cyproheptadine 2 times a day and doxepin. I carry fast acting benydral and 2 epi-pens. (Both block histamine 1) these help me, but I still can’t go out when it is really cold. Some days I feel like I have the flu other days are better.

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          • Ramona

            Cyproheptadine and doxepin are h 1 blockers. Sorry for the typo.

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    • Edward Price

      hot hot showers im 45 had urticaria all my life

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    • Arun

      So you had it as a child and then it vanished for a while, or you have always had it?

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  30. Rezwanur Rahman Pantho

    Thanks. I got cold every day. But I don’t wanna take tablets. Because they make me dizzy. What can I do? Sorry for my bad English.

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