General Question

deaddolly's avatar

Has anyone ever heard of this? My daughter seems allergic to cold weather. As soon as her skin hits really cold weather, she gets red blotches that itch like mad. WTF?

Asked by deaddolly (3431points) September 22nd, 2008

It only happens in winter. The blotches appear on her legs, arms only. She’s always wearing jeans and hoodies or a coat. She has asthma, slight hayfever, but no other allergies.

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15 Answers

basp's avatar

This happens to me on occassion. I think it must have to do with the weather drying out my skin, but I’m not sure.

asmonet's avatar

She may just have sensitive skin, my cousin has that whenever she doesn’t bundle up all the way, especially here legs. Jeans are not good enough. People often overlook that.

p.s. hey sue, im sure id love your cans too

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I went to grade school with a boy who was allergic to winter. He and his family had to move to Arizona every winter and moved back in the summer. All these years since I thought he really had some other ailment and just used allergic to winter as a cover. I guess not.

@as: Love to show to ya! hehe

critter1982's avatar

It probably has to do with dry skin.

cheebdragon's avatar

it could be eczema, maybe?

gailcalled's avatar

I have an irritating but not-life threatening skin issue called Dermatographism.

It is peculiar and can be caused by pressure, heat, cold, or allergies. I took an oral antihistamine for several years because the itching (where the red weals were( was driving me crazy. Since I stopped eating animal protein, it has disappeared. I have no idea whether there is cause and effect

shilolo's avatar

Sorry to put a wet (cold) blanket on everyone’s speculation, but this is a true, (relatively) benign medical condition known as cold-induced urticaria. Here is a picture representation from the New England Journal of Medicine and another demonstration image. For a similar question from a concerned parent, see here as well.

I would add that the fact that she has asthma and hay fever go along with this diagnosis. She happens to be an atopic person, which means that she has a higher probability of developing allergic conditions than the average individual.

gailcalled's avatar

@Shi; Isn’t dermatographia simply “anything-induced urticaria”?

deaddolly's avatar

@shilolo Thank you, I never heard of that. She does get wierd rashes from time to time.
She’s at college in Chicago now and will be winter walking to class alot. Her doctor never heard of such a thing (as her symptoms).
Wonder if benadryl would help???

shilolo's avatar

@Gail. Not really. Dermatographia is a condition where a light scratch on your skin induces hives (the key here is hives occur with skin contact) where as the cholinergic urticaria sydromes (such as cold-induced urticaria) require no skin contact.

@Deaddolly. Yes, an antihistamine would help, though, as a college student, she might not want to take benadryl because of its sedating properties. I suggest one of the less sedating forms, such as claritin, allegra or zyrtec (many are available now over the counter). Zyrtec is the most potent, but also has the most sedating properties. It is a daily (24h medicine), so she can take it at night so when the peak effect happens she’ll be sleeping. Or, she can try claritin first, and see what happens. With these medicines, it is mostly trial and error. If this continues to be irritating for her, she should see an allergist, who will be more-than-familiar with this condition and can help navigate other treatment options (there are other options, but I would go through the allergist for that). Best wishes for your daughter.

Snoopy's avatar

@dd I have this problem.
In addition to shilolo’s suggestions, I have also found some minor adjustments have helped to dial down the symptoms….
*Showers instead of baths (less drying to the skin)
*Lots and lots of heavy creams and lotions
*During shower, tell her to focusing on washing only what needs to be washed (i.e. face, chest, back, armpits, groin). Soap is very drying and makes it worse…

deaddolly's avatar

@ Snoopy, thank you! She is a shower kid, but is sorely lacking on the creams and lotions. As for the areas to be washed…she’s the only kid I know that can come out of the shower, but forget to wash her face. Damn kids!

drhat77's avatar

sigh – shilolo beat me again

Snoopy's avatar

@drhat hang in there….you’ll get one. Eventually.

shilolo's avatar

@drhat77. Sorry, what can I do? I’m an addict…

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