Description of Primary CCU
Cold Contact Urticaria (Primary CCU) is a disorder of the skin that within five to ten minutes leads to reddening of the surface (erythema, wheals), swelling of the area of contact (hives/welts), intense itching and may include burning, all following exposure to cold temperatures.
Weather, liquids and objects. It is the most common form of physical urticaria. The reaction may occur while exposed to cold, but more often while rewarming.
Itching and reddening of the skin usually develop first, followed by a burning sensation. Hives appear, usually lasting 30 minutes.
The affected person may also experience Systemic symptoms:
- Neurological Symptoms: Headache, Anxiety
- Heart: Rapid and Irregular Heartbeat, Palpitations, Fainting, Fluctuations in Blood Pressure
- Respiratory: Wheezing, Shortness of Breath, Asthma Like Symptoms
- Digestive: Abdominal pain, Gastrointestinal Upset, Vomiting, Diarrhea
- Cutaneous: Angioedema, Acrocyanosis
- Life Threatening: Anaphylaxis, Shock (hypotension (drop in blood pressure), lethargy, collapse and even death may occur).
Links to websites for further research
National Organization for Rare Disorders: Urticaria, Cold
Dr. Greene: Cold Allergies and What Can Be Done About Them
About.com: Cold Urticaria
Dermnet NZ: Cold Urticaria
Aliases and Classifications