Allergic to cold? It's a real condition

A study led by Dr Joshua Milner, a researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has uncovered a genetic mutation in 27 people from three families who all have cold urticaria along with other immune system abnormalities and disorders. Cold urticaria literally means coming out in hives because of an allergic reaction to the cold weather. The researchers admit they do not now how many people suffer from this condition, and that most people who do, do not suffer from any other disorder.

One case history reported a toddler who suffered an anaphylactic reaction after jumping into a cold wading pool on a warm day. However the researchers urge people who suspect they might have cold urticaria not to be too embarrassed to check with their doctors. The test is simple: the doctor puts an ice cube on the patients skin, removes it and waits for a few minutes to see if hives appear.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine

First published in January 2012


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