Awareness * Advocacy * Research

Secondary Cold Contact Urticaria (Secondary CCU) is acquired and is associated with:

Cryoglobulin,  Cryofibrinogen, Cold Agglutinin,
Hemolysin,Vasculitis
Bee Stings, Parasites, Helicobacter Pyloris
Infectious Diseases: Mononucleosis, Strep Throat, Epstein Barr Virus, Dental, Sinus and Urinary Tract Infections, Bacterial Infections
Measles, Mumps, Chicken Pox, Hand Foot Mouth Disease, M Pneumonia, Adenovirus, Influenza A, Cytomegalovirus
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Lymphoma, Autoimmune Disorders (Celiac; SLE (Lupus); Sjogrens; Anti IgG, IgM, IgA)
Hypothyroidism, Hepatitis C
Medications such as oral birth control pills, Antifungal Therapy, Aspirin, Ibuprofen
Monthly Hormone Changes

Secondary Cold Contact usually affects young adults with a duration of disease of four to five years with remission or improvement in symptoms in the majority of the patients within five years.

Patients with autoimmune urticaria frequently have associated angioedema and the urticaria tends to run a more chronic course.

When plasma is refrigerated at 4ºC for up to 72 hours, proteins may precipitate (cryoprecipitate). If refrigerated serum and plasma both form a precipitate, then the precipitated proteins are referred to as cryoglobulins. If, however, precipitation develops after refrigeration of plasma but does not occur in cold serum, the plasma precipitate is referred to as cryofibrinogen.

Links to external websites for further research:
Cold Urticaria and Celiac Disease
An Approach to the Patient with Urticaria

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Nuggets of Wisdom

Yes, there is such a thing as having an allergic type reaction to temperatures. This is defined as a physical urticaria. Other physical urticarias include Solar, Aquagenic, Pressure, Vibration and Exercise.

Most reactions are pseudo-allergic. By definition, an allergy involves inhaling or consuming an allergen. Physical urticarias have no known allergen. Despite the terminology and medical definitions, systemic reactions can be life threatening.

Cold has an arbitrary definition based on an individual feeling. For a person with a cold urticaria, cold can be defined as any temperature cooler than their own body temperature.

You do not have to be cold to have a reaction to the cold; contact with cold can trigger a reaction.

You can have an allergic type reaction to both cold and heat simultaneously.

Most reactions considered anaphylactic are really anaphylactoid by definition.

Moving to a warmer climate as a treatment for Cold Urticaria is a myth. Warmer climates present their own issues for those with Cold Urticaria.

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