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Cold contact urticaria

Other Names for this Disease
  • Primary idiopathic cold urticaria
  • Urticaria idiopathic cold
  • Urticaria, cold
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Cold contact urticaria, often referred to as simply cold urticaria, is a chronic, reactive skin disorder.[1] Major symptoms may include abnormal reddening of the skin, hives, swelling and itching after exposure of the skin to cold, cold water, and cold objects.[1][2][3] Symptoms typically develop within two to five minutes after exposure to the triggering substance or situation and last for one to two hours.[1] The cause of cold contact urticaria isn't clear.[2] Some cases are secondary to underlying conditions (blood conditions or infectious diseases).[3] As much as possible, people with cold contact urticaria should avoid exposure to cold air as well as cold water. Treatment for cold contact urticaria may include antihistamines taken before cold exposure.[2]
Last updated: 2/17/2010


  1. Urticaria, Cold. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2004; Accessed 2/17/2010.
  2. Cold urticaria. 2009; Accessed 2/17/2010.
  3. Ngan V. Cold urticaria. DermNet NZ. 2009; Accessed 2/17/2010.
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Basic Information

  • provides information about cold urticaria. Click on the above link to access this information.
  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Cold contact urticaria. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.