While some people thrive in cold weather, one Utah woman won’t be out on the ski slopes anytime soon. Jaylyn Rogers is actually allergic to the cold and exposing her skin to it will cause her to break out in itchy hives.
The condition is called Cold Urticaria (CU) and in some situations, it can be life-threatening.
When a person with CU has skin exposed to cold temperatures, their bodies produce an over-abundance of histimines–which cause the hives. For example, if Rogers dove into a cold swimming pool, she might flood her system with histamines so quickly that her body could go into anaphylactic shock, which can affect breathing.
To diagnose CU, an ice cube is placed on the patients forearm for about five minutes, then waits to see if a hive in the shape of the ice cube emerges 10 minutes after the cube is removed.