Skin is the human’s body’s largest organ. External factors can greatly affect the health of your skin. One of the factors that can impact it is cold or dry air. Cold, dry air can cause a skin reaction called cold urticaria. It is a skin reaction that can appear within minutes of being exposed to cold, dry air. Your skin will become red and itchy, and welts will appear. These itchy welts are also referred to as hives. People with the condition can have a range of symptoms, from major to minor. It occurs most frequently in young adults. It is a treatable condition and can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms often occur immediately after your skin has been exposed to a sudden drop in temperature. Wet, windy conditions can flare up your symptoms as well. The symptoms may be mild to severe. However, getting treatment and medical attention is important to manage the condition. Below you will find some of the common symptoms that should alert you that you may have the condition.
- Hand swelling when you hold cold objects
- Lip swelling when you consume cold foods or drinks
- Red, itchy welts (hives) on your skin that are only temporary
- Worsening of the skin reaction as you warm up
- Tongue or throat swelling that causes difficulty breathing
- Anaphylaxis, which is a whole-body response that can lead to swelling of your limbs, a racing heart, fainting, or shock
Depending on the severity of the exposures, the symptoms can last for up to two hours.
What Causes the Condition?
While the exact cause is unknown, researchers have found that skin sensitivity plays a large factor. Some people have sensitive skin due to genetics, a virus, or illness. Because the condition triggers the release of histamines in your body, it can cause redness, itching, hives, and a whole-body reaction.
What are the Risk Factors?
Below you will find the most common factors that place you at risk for this condition.
- Age: Young adults are at a higher risk of getting cold urticaria.
- Underlying Health Condition: Health issues, such as hepatitis or cancer, can make you more susceptible to the condition.
Medical Treatment and Prevention
If you think you may have this condition and experience any of the symptoms mentioned, contact a medical professional for help. The doctor will be able to diagnose the issue and provide you with treatment options depending on the severity of the issue.
Until you are able to see a medical doctor, prevention should be your number one focus. Below are some of the common prevention measures you can take.
- Protect your skin from cold, dry air by wearing warm clothing
- Check the water temperature before you get into cold water
- Take an over-the-counter antihistamine before you are exposed to cold, dry weather
- Avoid cold food and drinks
Once you see your doctor, they may provide you with medication or an epinephrine autoinjector to use when you have a serious reaction. It is important to note that if you have a whole-body response you need to seek medical attention immediately. Anaphylaxis can cause difficulty breathing and can be life-threatening.
Skin Treatment in Bakersfield
If you find out your skin irritation is merely due to sensitive skin, you may need to some skin treatments specific for those with sensitive skin to ease any irritation you have. If you have sensitive and skin that is easily irritated, contact Bakersfield Medspa. Their team of experts specializes in treatments for sensitive skin. They help patients feel rejuvenated and refreshed while understanding that each skin type is different. Whatever your skin issues are they can help get you feeling better about your skin again. Contact the office today to set up an appointment!