Main symptoms of cold allergy and treatment

The symptoms of cold allergy can arise when the person is exposed to the cold in autumn or winter, but it can also happen even in the summer when the person enters a waterfall or is on the beach and the sea has very cold water, as in the Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

This type of allergy can also affect people who need to work in the butchers’ fridge, in the frozen section of the supermarket or in laboratories where it is necessary to be at low temperatures, for example. Symptoms usually appear a few minutes after exposure to cold or prolonged contact with cold water. Understand how cold weather affects health.

Cold allergy symptoms

Symptoms that may indicate an allergy to cold, a condition scientifically called perniosis or cold urticaria, can be: 

  • Reddish or yellowish plaques in areas exposed to the cold;
  • The affected region may appear to be bloodless;
  • Swollen fingers and toes;
  • Pain and burning sensation;
  • Itchy skin, especially on the extremities of the body;
  • Wounds and peeling may appear on the swollen and red skin;
  • Vomiting and abdominal pain may appear.

Women are the most affected and the most affected areas are the hands, feet, nose and ears. A similar disease is Raynaud’s Syndrome, which is a disease characterized by the alteration of blood circulation in the hands and feet, changing the color of these limbs. Learn more about Raynaud’s Syndrome.

The diagnosis of cold allergy is made from the analysis of the symptoms described by the person, in addition to exams, such as biopsy, for example, which aims to assess the injuries. Understand what the biopsy is and how it is done.

Cold Allergy Treatment

When an allergy to cold is very frequent and symptoms persist for days, causing discomfort to the person’s life, it is recommended to seek medical help because it may be necessary to perform tests that may indicate that there is some other condition at the same time. The most suitable doctor is the dermatologist who can recommend the use of vasodilator drugs.

Other treatment options for cold allergy are:

1. Warm-up the body

As soon as the first signs of allergy to cold are noticed, it is important to warm up the affected body region as soon as possible to prevent the progression of symptoms. If the person is on the beach, for example, they can wrap themselves in a towel or sarong and stay in the sun for a while until the blood circulation is normalized and the skin stops itching and deflating.

In the case of people who live or work in cold environments, it is important to protect the extremities of the body through the use of gloves and boots, for example. In addition, it is recommended not to smoke and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as they may worsen allergy symptoms.

2. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is important to stimulate blood circulation and decrease the chances of allergy. In addition, the practice of exercises helps to normalize blood flow and temperature in the area affected by the allergy.

3. Use of medications

The use of antihistamines can be done with the aim of controlling crises and avoiding complications, such as blockage of the airways and, consequently, asphyxia, for example. The use of these drugs should be recommended by the doctor and they are usually consumed in doses higher than normal.

4. Use of adrenaline

The use of adrenaline is done only in more severe cases, when there is a chance of cardiac arrest and complete blockage of breathing, which can happen when the person has an allergy, but even so it stays a long time in the cold water of the sea or the waterfall, for example. example. Know the effects of adrenaline in the body.

How to live with cold allergy

It is important to avoid all factors that can cause a person to feel cold. So, it must be important to ensure that the body remains warm and dry, avoiding traveling to very cold places, such as winter in Europe, avoid sucking popsicles or ice cream, taking always warm baths, prefer closed shoes because even the use of an open shoe or sandals can lead to the development of symptoms in the toes, when walking on the edge of the beach, on a colder day, for example.

Cold urticaria is not permanent, but after the first symptoms appear, the person must have these precautions for the next 10 years.

Possible complications

If the person does not follow the recommendations and does not undergo the treatment, complications can arise due to lack of blood in small areas of the body such as necrosis, which is characterized by the blackened color of the affected region and which is hardly curable, and amputation is usually performed.

In addition, the lack of treatment can cause cellulite, which is inflammation of an area of ​​the body, nerve damage, thrombophlebitis, cardiac arrest, and blockage of the airways.

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