Allergic to cold? Some people experience hives, and worse

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Can we actually be allergic to the cold? Turns out, yes.

Mary Duh, a physicians assistant at the Mayo Clinic, says its medical name is Cold Urticaria. “Urticaria is just a fancy word for hives,” she said.

But it can be more than hives. Duh said a cold allergy can also cause swelling and even severe reactions.

“It’s just like any other allergic reaction,” she said. “It could be a mild rash anywhere from redness to swelling to full body hives to problems breathing and anaphylaxis - where they stop breathing and have throat swelling.”

Like any other allergy, people can be born with cold urticaria or can develop it over time.

Treatment includes taking an antihistamine either before or after exposure.

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