Cold urticaria is a chronic, reactive skin disorder. The population most affected is young adults age 18 to 25 years Severe reactions can be seen with exposure to cold water. Swimming in cold water is the most common cause of a severe reaction. This can cause a massive release of histamine resulting in low blood pressure, fainting, shock, and even death. This allergic response can take several forms, from rashes to wheezing, hives, swelling and redness.
Cold urticaria is diagnosed by holding an ice cube against the skin of the forearm for 1 to 5 minutes. A distinct hive should develop if a patient has cold urticaria.
Patients with cold urticaria should learn to protect themselves from a rapid drop in body temperature.Antihistaminics like Claritin and zyrtec can also be taken. The antihistamine cyproheptadine (Periactin) has been found to be a useful treatment also.
Sometimes cold urticaria is a symptom of another problem, such as cryofibrinogenemia, cryoglobulinemia, or syphilis. There is growing evidence that chronic hepatitis-C infection can result in immune dysregulation and expansion of autoimmune B cells that produce cryoglobulins. This can result in acquired cold urticaria and cryoglobulinemia.
In my opinion, a combined approach of a hepatologist and allergist will help in tackling the problem.
Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how you are doing or if you have any additional doubts.
I have always broken out on my hands when they got cold. If I went jogging my legs would itch like crazy, even brisk walking. Last year my face broke out in welts all over and also my torso. Although my face didnt seem itchy, the welts on my torso were. What could this condition be. I'm now 45. I have heart palpitations and my mormal bllod pressure is 97/65. Please help.