One of the most common skin issues that people truly want to avoid is urticaria. Urticaria or hives is a condition that surfaces on your skin when you come across allergens, especially if your immune system is weak. Please take note that this can be a temporary response of your body that goes away after the allergen is taken out. However, some people have this problem regularly. Chronic urticaria is a condition wherein your hives stay for months or even years. We all have mast cells in our body. These release histamine, which cause allergies to surface.
Most people suffer from cold urticaria. This condition is common among people who live in cold places or those who are always exposed to cold temperatures. Having cold urticaria can really be annoying because not only is it unsightly, it can be extremely itchy. But for a few people it can even be life-threatening.
With this condition, you may notice raised bumps after taking a cold bath or while your body recovers from a drop in temperature. People with this condition have large welts, redness, itchy skin, swollen areas and may experience anaphylaxis.
People who suffer from cold urticaria may find their winter activities to be quite limited. Their condition surfaces after exposure to low temperatures, bathing in cold water, consuming cold beverages or food, touching cold objects and may itch when water evaporates from their skin. This is a condition that you would never want to have, as it can cause discomfort and embarrassment.
To check if you have this condition, a doctor may place an ice pack on your skin and wait a few minutes to see if any irritation, redness or welts develop. This is called a CSTT or cold stimulation time test.
In any case, if you notice the following symptoms, please call your doctor:
- Swelling of the lips every time you eat food that is cold.
- Reddish hives on the skin that become very itchy when exposed to cold temperature.
- Swelling of the hands when you hold something that is cold.
- Swelling of the throat and tongue which may prevent air from going into your body.
Staying Free Of Cold Urticaria
Sadly, there is no magic cure for this condition. Thus, avoiding possible triggers should be your first priority. You should try to stay warm at all times, especially if you live in a place wherein low temperature is normal. Avoid taking cold showers as well. Luke warm beverages are best as well. You should make sure you wipe your body dry right after you take a bath, to avoid water evaporating from your skin. Lastly, people with chronic cold urticaria should have an epinephrine pen with them at all times, as your condition may lead to anaphylaxis.
Please keep in mind that antihistamine may be prescribed for aggravated cases of urticaria. Your doctor may decide to give you non-drowsy variants, as you would not want to be groggy at work or at school. Your physician may also ask you to avoid wearing scratchy clothing, especially if you have chronic urticaria. He or she may tell you to avoid using harsh soaps and skin care products. If the area gets infected or is chronically irritated, you may develop an infection and be prescribed with antibiotics or antibacterial to protect the area from harmful microorganisms.
Urticaria caused by lifestyle and environment factors can be frustrating, especially if you are easily embarrassed by the unsightly welts on your face. With the right treatment plan, you can enjoy a normal and improved quality of life. However, please remember to visit your physician regularly to ensure that your condition does not get worse or put you at risk of any danger.