Cold allergy is one of the most common diseases. It occurs under the influence of low temperatures on the body. According to statistics, women aged 21-60 are more likely to suffer from such an allergy. Such a pathology is also known under the name of cold dermatitis. What it is, told Tatyana Egorova, dermatologist, cosmetologist, trichologist.
Why is it developing?
Tatyana Egorova notes that cold dermatitis becomes a reaction of the body to low air temperatures. “Under the influence of cold, degranulation of mast cells occurs. This is the process when cytotoxic and other molecules are released from the granules inside the cells. Mast cells are those cells that contain granules with histamine (this is a substance that reacts to an irritant with just the same allergic reaction) and heparin, ”explains Tatiana Egorova.
Sometimes a cold allergy is called a pseudo-allergic reaction, since in fact there is no allergen and the culprit of unexpected manifestations inside the body. The influence comes from outside.
At risk are, the specialist emphasizes, those people who have a strong hereditary factor for such a disease.
How to define it for yourself?
You can go and take blood tests for immunoglobulins and pseudo-allergic reactions, which will show a predisposition. You can also collect an anamnesis of relatives. And you can use a simple improvised test. So, it is enough to take a piece of ice and put it in the wrist area, hold it for about 20 minutes. If the skin begins to react to it with characteristic symptoms, then you are suffering from cold dermatitis. Then you should already consult a doctor and be treated correctly.
What are the symptoms of winter allergies?
Tatyana Egorova notes that the manifestations of cold dermatitis are quite simple. Among them, the specialist calls:
- swelling of the skin at the site of injury;
There may also be rashes in the zone of exposure to cold. Experts note that an allergy to cold is manifested by a limited number of diseases, including:
In severe cases, which is quite rare, there may be anaphylactic shock.
Cold dermatitis, emphasizes Tatyana Egorova, is typical for people at any age – it can be equally observed in both children and adults.
How to heal and protect?
Dermatologist Egorova notes that the lack of prevention can be called a minus of such a disease. The only thing you can do to try to protect yourself is to minimize contact with the cold. So, you should wear gloves so that your hands do not freeze or become weathered, a scarf is required, in addition to a hat, you should use a hood. Additionally, you can use seasonal cosmetics to protect the skin – you should consult a specialist about its choice.
If contact has occurred and a reaction has begun, you should go to heat as soon as possible. If suddenly a person gets wet – for example, it is sleet falling or accidentally lying in the snow with children, you should immediately change into everything warm and dry. A cup of hot tea will help keep the internal heat. If you are prone to allergies, it is worth taking an antihistamine tablet. If the skin is damaged, it must be treated with special means.
As a treatment for cold dermatitis, says Tatyana Egorova, antihistamines are used – they are selected by the doctor, as well as offering a course and dosage. Hormonal ointments may also be prescribed to correct skin lesions. Again, only on the recommendation of a doctor. Self-therapy can only do harm, the specialist emphasizes.