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Cold-Induced Hives

Hello.

I'm a 26/f, healthy, no other issues. Diagnosed anxiety disorder, no meds.

Since the middle of August, I've noticed that when I touch cold things (iced coffee, washing hands in cold water) that my hands will turn very red and are very hot/itchy. At the time, I chalked it up to being a reaction for starting smoking ciggs again (had been about a 1/2 pack/day smoker since age 18- quit this past Jan- relapsed on vacation for a week in August) However, while on a long weekend down in Nags Head Beach, i went for a swim in the water for approx. 5 minutes and got out because I felt very tingly. Well, my entire body (minus my calves, face and forearms) was beet red and covered in hives. I did not have any difficulty breathing, though I did panic and cry at the time. The hives faded within an hour or two. Since then, I have noticed that my skin is EXTREMELY sensitive to the cold- to the point where if i have air conditioning vents in the car pointing at, say, my neck for more than a few minutes my neck will turn red and swell a bit. I've done some research on-line, have done the "ice cube" test and sure enough, the outline of the ice cube appears on my arm in the form of a hive.

I've already made an appointment with the doctor for a 1/2 day that I have next week- but here are my specific questions.

1) I just started a new job, moved, etc- and I've had A LOT of extra anxiety in my life recently- could this contribute to the problem? My parents/friends think that i am NUTS.

2) Is nicotine related to this at all? It seems like too much of a coincidence?

Thanks so much!
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi
I get the exact same thing. We went to the beach one day and the water looked like it was covered in some sort of rag weed. We were playing Frisbee in the water (up to my waist) and when I got out my knee cap was burning like I got stung by a bee. (I had a misquote bite there before I went in the water). It was really red and within minutes my entire half of the body that was in the water was covered in hives. It was triggered from the cold air against my skin. Since that day every time I go the beach or go out side and exercise when it is cold my body gets these hives. However in Dominican where the air is always warm I didn’t get the hives. If you try taking allergy medication like Reactin it takes away the puffiness but you will still get this horrible looking rash! So I personally don't think it is from either of the two things you suggested it is probably from some sort of allergen you exposed yourself too. My boyfriend was with me the day I got it and he didn't get it, I had a bite on my knee though. He had no cuts.  
My friend said she got this when she was younger and remembers having some sort of prescribed cream. Eventually the hives just stopped.
I have a doctors appointment in a week and then I'll probably have to wait to here what a specialist has to say
If you could let me know what your doctor had to say about the issue that would be great
Avatar universal
Hi,
Hives are red, itchy welts or swellings on the skin that often come in clusters.  In doctor speak, hives are known as "urticaria."
Physical allergies are allergic reactions to cold, sunlight, heat, or minor injury.Cold can change certain proteins in the blood so that they induce an immune reaction.
Comfort is the main goal of treatment, since most hive outbreaks are relatively minor and short-lived.
To soothe itchy skin, try cold compresses, calamine lotion, a cool shower, or a tepid bath with a few tablespoons of cornstarch (the kind sold in drugstores) thrown in. Itching can be controlled with cold packs or commercial topical agents that contain menthol, camphor, eucalyptus oil, aloe, antihistamines, or cortisone preparations
Try an over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce your body's response to the irritant and to relieve pain.
The reaction can also be controlled with epinephrine or cortisone-like drugs.
ref:
http://www.myonlinewellness.com/topic/physicallergy
It cannot be due to nicotine unless you have developed an allergic response to it.Stress is also known to produce hives.

Avatar universal
I too have had these same symptoms.  Since I was a child I would get hives every time i would be exposed to cold things.  If I ate a popsicle my lips would swell up and the inside of my mouth would get itchy.  I remember a time that I was swimming at a lake and I felt an itchy feeling, my head started pounding and i felt like I was going to faint.  My lips turned white and i had to be dragged in to a warm shower up the hill.  The warm water brought me back to normal, but not for awhile.  Its so bad that if i go to a park and sit on a metal bench that is cold, my legs and buttocks start to itch.  I did visit a Doctor for these symptoms, but they were unable to tell me anything about it at the time.  I would really like to know if there is a medication that would help me and others.  
Avatar universal
hi are you recovered from this problem or not ,if you are , can please help me also. my personal mail id is ***@****
thanks joe

this is ramki
have a nice day.,
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