Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cold urticaria?

When discussing life in Allergy Town, I mentioned foods and even lotions and personal care products, but what I did not mention was the WEATHER!  My daughter developed another mysterious rash last week and, to me, it came out of nowhere.  No new foods were introduced.  She had been eating the same general foods, in her usual rotation.  Then, I remember an article I once read about something called cold urticaria.  We had several days of biting cold weather with chilling winds.  My daughter loves to play outside and even though I thought it was too cold, she got to play outside a little while, one day, and that evening, after bath, I noticed these blotchy hives/rash on the underside of her upper arm and also on her legs.  Since I thought it might have been food-related, I gave her some Benadryl.  She had a restless night, because Benadryl has the opposite effect on her as it does on most other people and it really didn't clear up the rash very well.  It was partially cleared, though, so I backed off on some of her foods (chicken nuggets and Alpha Tots) and she seemed fine, but then that evening, after bath, the same spots were back.  This time I treated them with her topical medications and lots of CeraVe lotion.  It cleared up much better the next morning.  It then occurred to me that the only constant between the two days was that she played outside and it was ridiculously cold outside.  I read up on cold urticaria and decided to keep her indoors and see how that went.  She cleared up by the evening and by the next day her skin looked great!  I decided to add back the foods that were on lock-down and she didn't have any kind of rash/reaction.  Now, before you worry that I kept her locked in her room, away from the world, don't fret!  I took her to the nearby Wildlife Ranch, which you can tour from your car and we went over to my parents' house to visit and play.  She wasn't confined to our house, but I just didn't let her play outside in the harsh cold.  The harsh cold has since subsided, and I took her to Chuck E. Cheese's (she really loves that place!) and her skin is still looking great!  She has been having a little bit of a cough here and there and we've done a couple of Xopenex treatments and I don't know what's causing that, but I'm really amazed at how good her skin is looking.  We took this opportunity to reintroduce her beloved corn tortillas.  We had reintroduced cornstarch and corn syrup, but I was waiting to bring back corn tortillas.  She was so excited to have them, again.  This afternoon, I noticed a couple of small patches of redness on her cheeks, but I believe that is from her fishy mask.  Her legs and the rest of her body are totally clear! 

So, I definitely suspect those few days of cold, but I wonder if my allergist would roll his eyes at me if I suggested that she is allergic to the cold.  The test for it sounds a little uncomfortable, but I might bring up the issue at her next appointment.  We don't get that much severe cold weather here, but I think it's something we'd need to check up on. 

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