Cold urticaria - this is not a typical allergy
although cold allergy or cold urticaria is associated with allergy, it should be clearly emphasized that its mechanism is not allergic. The changes on the skin are not the result of IgE antibodies. They appear rather because of individual reaction of the body, actually individual hypersensitivity, i.e. lower resistance to low temperatures.
A skin reaction may occur in autumn and winter, less often in spring. Sometimes even on a hot day, in the summer, when the body suddenly cools down, for example, on a sunny day after leaving the cold sea. There is also the possibility of another reaction, for example after eating a cold meal or a cold drink.
Cold urticaria - a sudden change in temperature
Skin changes caused by "cold allergy" occur during sudden cooling of the body (exposure to cold, cold air, sudden change from warm to cold), what the effect is histamine burst and inflammatory lesions. The body reads the sudden change in temperature as unfavorable. He judges her as a threatening situation, which triggers the above-mentioned reaction.
Two types of cold urticaria
Cold urticaria can have:
- family (genetic) dimension, i.e. occur in several people in a given family. Usually it has a more advanced form, and its symptoms persist throughout life,
- acquired dimension - reveals in children under 10 years of age. It usually disappears after 5 years.
Cold sensitization: symptoms
- the reaction appears suddenly
- the skin turns red (usually on exposed parts of the face - cheeks, hands, less often thighs or stomach),
- there is a feeling of discomfort, burning, itching, irritation,
- characteristic urticaria bubbles appear,
- sometimes there may be an attack of coughing, shortness of breath, bronchospasm,
- runny nose,
- when drinking a cold drink (stomach ache, headache, laryngeal edema),
- in an extreme situation - loss of consciousness
Is this really a cold allergy?
The child after a walk on a cold day came back with red cheeks, began to rub them and complain of itching?
Don't you know if it's cold allergy?
You can do the test and apply a cold bottle or ice to your baby's skin for 15 minutes. See if there is a reaction in the form of urticaria. If it appears, you have the answer. However, if this does not occur, unfortunately, you cannot rule out a problem. Sometimes, for the symptoms to occur it is necessary to cool a significant area of the body, usually it also has to be sudden cooling.
How to treat allergy to cold?
Cold allergy treatment is usually not easy. It is difficult to imagine, in our latitude, that a child will not be in contact with the cold. Doctors recommend tempering the child.
If the symptoms are severe, it is advisable taking antihistamines and antiallergics. It is also worth allowing the body to adapt to a lower temperature, leave the house slowly, figure for a while in the staircase or hallway, avoid situations when there is a sudden change in body temperature. Works well using a protective cream for wind and low temperatures, which strengthens the skin's natural defenses.
Urticaria can also occur for another reason, under the influence of pressure, sweat, heat and even contact with water. There are also urticaria resulting from rubbing or scratching the skin.