Rare Allergy Shivers More Than This Woman’s Timbers

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.

Rogers is helping researchers understand this rare allergy and is currently participating in a clinical trial. If you’d like to participate in the trial, or learn more about it, contact the University of Utah at (801) 213-2264.

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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