Woman Allergic to Cold Temps - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Woman Allergic to Cold Temps

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SALISBURY, Md.- Just like many other people, Amy Morris of Salisbury does not like cold temperatures. But for Morris, it goes a step further.

"I would break out in hives, my hands would begin to swell," said Morris. "'My hands would swell so much, I wouldn't be able to write."
She has a rare condition. It's called cold urticcartia, which basically means "cold hives."

"They would send me home from school because they thought I was contagious," Morris said. She was diagnosed with the allergy in the fourth grade. 

Up to about 1 percent of the population is at risk, according to the Asthma and Allergy Center. It usually hits around adolescence and it's more common in girls.

Little is known about the allergy, according to Allergist Curt Watkins, of Peninsula Allergy & Asthma.

"Even medical professionals look at me strangely, and they ask 'You're allergic to the cold?'" Morris said.

To test for it, doctors would tape an ice cube to your inner arm to see if would develop hives within three to five minutes. If you break out, chances are you are allergic.

"It's not very common," Watkins said. He later added, "I see two maybe four cases a year of this."

Watkins said reactions can get pretty bad.

"If someone with this condition jumps in cold water worry, they would have to worry about a more severe allergic reaction."

When asked how to treat this allergy Watkins said, "Bundle up. Antihistamines would help this. You could medicate a head of time, if you know you will have some exposure."

But there is good news, as according to Watkins, you can grow out of this allergy.

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