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!