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Cold Urticaria Cold Allergy, Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

Cold allergy or the medical term called cold urticaria is the reaction of a person's skin to cold which causes itching to appear and the skin becomes reddish. The severity of cold allergy symptoms that appear in each person is usually different. There are some people who can lose consciousness, experience low blood pressure, and the worst can cause death.

Teenagers are the age most often affected by cold allergies, but most will disappear completely in a few years.

Symptoms of Cold Allergy (Cold Urticaria)

Usually the symptoms of cold allergic disease will appear when the skin is exposed to cold water or in cold weather (about 4 degrees Celsius). Cold allergy is also very risky to appear in windy and humid conditions. Here are some symptoms of cold allergy that can occur.

Cold Urticaria Cold Allergy

  • Hands feel swollen when holding cold objects.
  • Itchiness will appear on the area of the skin exposed to cold air.
  • Swollen lips and throat when eating cold food or drinks.
  • Reddish skin.

Allergic reactions are usually most severe when the body is exposed to cold temperatures, for example when swimming in cold water. These reactions can potentially endanger lives, such as swelling of the throat and tongue so that people have difficulty breathing, blood pressure drops dramatically, heart palpitations, fainting, and swelling of the arms and legs.

In general, cold allergies will disappear by themselves after some time (weeks or months), but some also last longer. If your throat or tongue feels swollen, the head feels dizzy, and it is difficult to breathe, immediately visit a doctor for treatment.

Causes of Cold Allergy (Cold Urticaria)

Cold allergic reactions occur when the release of histamine and chemicals in other bodies into the bloodstream is triggered by cold weather. Some things are considered as the cause of this cold allergy, including genetic factors in people who have too sensitive skin cells, certain viruses or diseases. But the exact cause of why the body reacts to cold until now is unknown.

The following factors can usually increase the risk of cold allergy, namely:

  • Children and adolescents. This age is most susceptible to allergies and usually improves on its own in a few years
  • Certain basic diseases. The risk of getting cold allergies increases when you have health problems or diseases such as cancer or hepatitis.
  • Infection. Those who have recently had an infection such as pneumonia are more at risk of experiencing cold allergies.
  • Genetics. There are some children who inherit this disease from their parents, although this event is very rare.

Diagnosis of Cold Allergy (Cold Urticaria)

To diagnose cold allergy is very easy, please stick ice cubes on the skin for five minutes. If after a few moments a red lump appears, then chances are you have a cold allergy. In some cases where cold urticaria is thought to be caused by another disease, the doctor may suggest additional tests in the form of blood tests or other supporting tests.

Cold Allergy Treatment (Cold Urticaria)

There is no medicine that can cure Cold Urticaria. Care will be given to reduce the symptoms of this disease and prevent symptoms from reappearing. The treatment given by a doctor is with antihistamine. But, the use of antihistamines with ordinary doses is not effective, so that more useful is non-sedative antihistamines with high doses.

The drugs usually given are:

  • Omalizumab. This drug is used to treat asthma, but it can also be used to cure some cold urticaria sufferers.
  • Antihistamines (eg fexofenadine and desloratadine). This drug inhibits histamine in the body which produces allergic symptoms.
  • Cyproheptadine, an antihistamine drug that works by inhibiting nerve reactions that lead to cold allergy symptoms in patients.
  • Doxepin. This drug is used to overcome anxiety and depression, it is known to also be able to relieve cold allergy symptoms.

Prevention of Cold Allergies (Cold Urticaria)

Prevention of cold allergies can be done in several ways, such as the following.

  • You should avoid eating cold foods and drinks to prevent your throat from swelling.
  • Take medication as prescribed by a doctor.
  • Tell your doctor and medical officer if you are going to undergo surgery to prevent cold allergy symptoms from arising in the operating room.
  • Before you are exposed to cold weather, it is strongly recommended to take antihistamines.
  • Protect your skin from temperatures or cold weather.
  • Always bring an injection of adrenaline anywhere when you go to anticipate if an anaphylactic reaction occurs again.
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