Cold Urticaria



Those unexplained small, red wheals and bumps on your face,
neck and hands, may be cold-induced urticaria.

photo of hives via AP (
"ALL you want to do is scratch," said cold-urticaria sufferer Jessica Poris when asked how it felt to experience an allergic reaction. "It's like suddenly having poison ivy. At first, you are really surprised, then your skin calms down and you become more relaxed. Ten to 20 minutes later, the hives are gone."

The ice-cube test:7

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, cold urticaria is diagnosed by placing an ice cube on the forearm for four minutes and then watching the area over a 10-minute period.
Check for symptoms while the skin rewarms.

Only an allergist can confirm the condition.

If you tested positive, you may not have cold urticaria.

According to the Allergic Diseases Resource Center, "Cold urticaria can be restricted to certain areas of the body, for example, where there has been a cold injury, or at the sites of allergen immunotherapy (desensitization) injections, or insect bites. Another skin condition, which is related to cold, is cold-dependent dermatographism, where hives form if the skin is scratched and then chilled."7

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© 2005 Randi N. Bernfeld