This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Cold urticaria is an allergic condition that affects the skin. Symptoms usually start in early adulthood. The most common symptom is a red, itchy rash that appears on the skin when it is exposed to the cold (e.g. cold weather or cold water). This reaction usually occurs within 5-10 minutes after exposure and can last for 1-2 hours. The exact cause of cold urticaria is unknown. In some cases, it may be associated with an infection, insect bite, or blood cancer. It is diagnosed based on the symptoms and confirmed through tests that look for a specific reaction to cold. Treatment may consist of avoiding exposures that may trigger a reaction and medications that prevent allergic reactions like antihistamines.
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