A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Cold Urticaria
I had a question the other day about cold urticaria.
Cold urticaria is an allergy to cold temperatures.
Exposure to cold temperatures causes redness, itching, swelling and hives on skin that’s been in contact with the cold.
Treatment for cold urticaria may include antihistamines taken before cold exposure.
Symptoms begin soon after your skin is exposed to a sudden drop in air temperature or to cold water.
Although symptoms may begin during cold exposure, they’re often worse during rewarming of your exposed skin.
The majority of cold urticaria reactions occur when skin is exposed to temperatures lower than 40 F, but some people have reactions to warmer temperatures.
Damp and windy conditions may make cold urticaria more likely.
Cold urticaria signs and symptoms may include:
>Reddish, itchy hives (wheals) on the area of skin exposed to cold. Wheals generally last for about half an hour.
>Swelling of hands when holding cold objects.
>Swelling of lips when eating cold foods.
>In rare cases, severe swelling of the tongue and throat blocking breathing.
For people who have cold urticaria, exposure to cold can be dangerous.
In some people, reactions affect the whole body.
This is known as a systemic reaction.
The worst reactions usually occur with full skin exposure, like swimming in cold water.
A massive release of histamine and other immune system chemicals causes a sudden drop in blood pressure that can lead to fainting, shock and, in rare cases, death.
In the case of cold-water swimming, drowning can be caused by loss of consciousness.
The severity of cold urticaria symptoms varies widely.
Some people have minor reactions to cold, while others have severe reactions.
It’s also impossible to say whether it’ll get better over time.
In some cases, cold urticaria goes away on its own after several months.
In other cases, it lasts many years.
The cause isn’t clear.
It can occur in any age group, whether you’re female or male.
There’s no cure for cold urticaria, but treatment can help.
Treatment includes avoiding cold temperatures and exposure to sudden changes in temperature.
To deal with cold urticaria it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells, thins mucus, and flushes toxins.
*Alfalfa, bilberry extract, nettle, sarsaparilla, and yellow dock are beneficial for hives. Alfalfa can also be used as a preventive blood tonic. It cleanses your blood and helps keep your body free of toxins.
*Applying aloe vera gel to the affected area can be helpful.
*Black nightshade leaves may help. Wash and boil the leaves in water, put them on a cloth, and apply as a poultice to the affected area (don’t take this herb internally, and avoid getting it in your eyes).
*The leaves and bark of the red alder tree, when brewed into a strong tea, can help hives. Apply it locally to the affected area, and take a couple of tablespoons internally as well. Reapply several times daily until the hives abate.
*Avoid alcohol and all processed foods, which put added stress on your body by depleting nutrients. Also avoid dairy products, eggs, chicken, and nuts. Especially avoid foods high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sugar.
*Don’t take any medications (including aspirin, pain killers, sedatives, laxatives, cough syrups, and antacids) that aren’t prescribed for you.
*Avoid using prednisone or other steroids. Instead, use the nutrients and herbs listed above. Try nettle first.
*For topical treatment, use cornstarch or colloidal oatmeal added to bathwater. Bathing in water with baking soda added also may relieve symptoms.
*Wear loose-fitting clothing.
*Eliminate toxic personal care, laundry and cleaning products.
*Eliminate personal care products that upset skin’s natural pH.
*Decrease exposure to chlorinated shower/bath water, pools and hot tubs.
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