Cold Urticaria

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/17/2013 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm Ben and I wanted to share my cold urticaria story. If you aren't familiar, this is a condition that causes hives and itching in response to cold (yes, cold) temperature such as pools, oceans, air conditioning, or even a cold can of soda.

I acquired cold urticaria around the age of 20, when after a long summer day spent at the pool I came home to find my face visibly swollen. We thought it was an allergy to shellfish, which I had had earlier, or a response to prolonged sun exposure. In the end, it was the day spent in cold water, and looking back, I'm relieved the response was not more intense.

I am thankful that on the scale of intensity, my condition is moderate, at worst. I do not experience much beyond intense itching if the cold exposure is prolonged, and I can handle cold beverages fine, swimming too, if I keep an eye on the clock. My problems crop up in cold windy weather, on exposed skin, namely my face, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. I can feel my face swell when exposed to wind, and extremities itch readily.

Luckily H2 antihistamines work well for me. Zyrtec has been my medicine of choice and completely eliminates my itching, however the welts and red hives still appear. Lately however, I have been experimenting with Ebastine, a drug approved mostly everywhere but not available in the US for unknown reasons (likely market competition). A commonly cited article ( suggests Ebastine not only reduces the histamine interaction but also tapers the initial mast cell response. I will report back once I have a clearer understanding of its efficacy.

Finally I want to note where I think this disease came from. Some studies suggest that these disorders of the immune system are caused by infectious mononucleosis (mono). I was in fact diagnosed with mono when I was 15. I am hopeful it will go away within the next few years. I am encouraged by the fact that the response has not increased in intensity for some time.

I hope this information helps any others out there suffering from the same.


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/20/2013 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Ben for sharing.  I did have several students at the middle school that were dx with cold urticarial.
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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/30/2013 10:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I cough up phlem right after getting up in morning that is yellow. I know it is coming from my stomach because I have no trouble breathing and I cannot eat too early in morning. I also cough after eating during day without an phlem coming up. I think I may aspirate or breathe in my food or drink also. I do think I have a little asthma. Doctors are in the dark ages. They base many diagnosis on symptoms only. They come up with symptoms and call it a certain disease then do studies then once they publish their work and other doctors learn of the new supposed disease and its symptoms then they start diagnosing people. BS if you get my drift. HaHa to these doctors.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1635
   Posted 9/10/2013 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
i also have cold induces urticaria. it began about 7 years ago when i was working in the yard one fall day. its nit been at all fun.

CYP Metabolic disorder; Mast Cell disease; Hashimoto's; Cold Induced Urticaria; Fibromyalgia; Possible Addison's disease........STAY TUNED!! YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN THINGS WILL CHANGE :)

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/2/2013 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I had sudden loss of hearing about 3 years ago. There has been no diagnoses. Going through cold urticaria details i strongly believe it can be a reason. Remember having a full blow of air conditioner on my ear after I just had a shower. It took place in the evening and early morning when i got up i felt my hearing was gone. Its not 100% loss but say around 40% effecting understanding also.
Anyone having any idea how to go about it?

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/23/2013 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ben -- my name is Monica and my 13-year-old son has cold urticaria. We just discovered this condition -- he had a few dips in a cold pool in Sept. and broke out in welts all over -- but in hindsight I believe he's had this for at least a year or two. It's been difficult to know what symptoms to attribute to cold urticaria as he has several allergies and asthma. I was interested (and dismayed to be honest) to learn that there is a good possibility that his condition might be related to a mast cell disorder. (I don't know this for a fact, but after learning what mast cell disorders are [from posting questions on a latex allergy forum], it seems awfully odd that he's been "developing" new allergies with each passing year -- and seems WAY more likely that there is something going on with mast cells in general. (Whether that would be overreactive mast cells, too many of them, odd locations of them, or however it works remains to be seen...)
We have an appointment with my son's allergist tomorrow and I am looking forward to getting more information. Frankly I'm worried as all get-out --- he had a few "pertussis-like" very bad asthma episodes last winter, and although during a hospital stay the pulmonologist determined that he must have some tic-like condition causing the cough (because she couldn't find evidence of infection and asthma medications were not helping) -- I'm very worried that exposure to cold air likely triggered what must have been pretty bad lung inflamation. And, since we know from last year's episodes that prednisone & albuterol weren't effective, I'm wondering what on earth we can do if it happens again.
There are a few people on the latex allergy discussion group that suggested using mouth- and nose-covering face masks during the cold months; I hope that will help.
I appreciate your mentioning Ebastine -- I am not familiar with this drug (I live in the U.S.), but will ask the doctor about it.
I too had read that some suspect mono & other diseases might be involved in the onset of cold urticaria; my daughter seems to have contracted mono in the same time frame as my son was barking like a seal with his asthma issues last winter -- but 2 separate mono tests showed no exposure for my son (at least at that time). I don't know how prone the Epstein-Barr tests are to false negatives...
Good luck to you -- and thank you again for posting your information. I'll try to remember to post what I learn from the doctor (hopefully she can answer at least some of my questions).
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