While some Canadians may joke that they are “allergic to the cold,” people with a rare but serious condition suffer from exactly that.
Chronic cold urticaria is a disorder causing itchy or painful hives (urticaria) after skin exposure to the cold. It can be severe and life-threatening, causing anaphylactic shock, suffocation resulting from pharyngeal swelling induced by cold foods or beverages, and severe shock from swimming in cold water. For sensitive cases, even cool perspiration or shopping in the refrigerated aisle of a supermarket can trigger allergic reactions.
The condition can be inherited or acquired. Although there is presently no known cure, some cases may respond to treatment with allergy medications containing antihistamines.
Fortunately, a cold urticaria clinical trial is underway to investigate a potential new treatment option.
The study (protocol code number EFC16720) is presently recruiting participants in Ontario. Applicants may be eligible if they are between 18 and 80 years old and have the presence of itchy wheals and/or angioedema due to cold despite the use of H1 antihistamine treatment. Participants may be compensated for study-related expenses and will receive monitoring of their condition by a dermatologist for the duration of the study.
The Canadian research team invites anyone afflicted with cold urticaria to apply for participation in the study by visiting leaderresearch.ca or by calling 289-812-0046 to learn more.
This article is not professional healthcare advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice.