Allergic to Cold?
A recent report by USA Today claims people are allergic to cold weather, but some experts say it’s not possible.
Sue Lovekin, an Anchorage resident, is just one of many Americans who suffer from a medical condition known as “cold urticaria,” which causes redness, itching, swelling and hives when a person is exposed to cold temperatures and can be compared to having an allergic reaction.
But it's not an allergy, according to Dr. Thad Woodard, a pediatrician with the Alaska Center for Pediatrics.
Woodard says people are being misinformed, and are assuming that because they experience some of the allergy symptoms that it's an allergy; he says anyone can have an allergic reaction to anything but it doesn't mean that it's an allergy.
He says a person has to be tested for specific antibodies, which can be genetic.
If these particular cells come into contact with certain substances like food or dust, your immune system can overreact in self-defense, which is called an allergic reaction.
He says cold weather is not a substance, and can't be tested.
“You can take an ice for example and there's a standard length of time you put it on your arm to see if it hives up, and it tells us you if you have that potential risk,” says Woodard.
While millions of Americans are allergic to different things, Dr. Woodard says chances are you're not allergic to the cold.