Cold urticaria (Hives) refers to urticaria that arises from exposure to a cold stimulus or damp environmental condition. It is the most common form of physical urticaria. In urticaria immune system i.e body’s defense mechanism, get disturbed and shows a hypersensitive reaction to an allergen, it activates the antibodies, IgE antibodies and eosinophils (a type of white blood cell involved in allergic reactions) to neutralize the antigen, and releases histamines which produce the allergy symptoms i.e. rash and itching.
Urticaria may appear anywhere on the body. Abnormal redness of the skin which develops into wheals raised skin areas, of varying shapes and sizes. Symptoms of cold hives can be mild to severe. Itching and redness of the skin may develop first, followed by a burning sensation. Angioedema, where large, diffuse swellings occur especially on the face, affecting the eyelids, lips, tongue, pharynx and larynx, hands, feet, genitalia, ears, and neck. Anaphylaxis, the most severe allergic reaction, which can cause difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and even death. Restlessness and irritability due to intense itching.
Triggers for cold Urticaria:
Cold foods/drinks, swimming, AC, cold Surfaces, Sitting on sidewalks which are cool, perspiration-whenever there is sweat on the skin, the breeze will cool the skin and create hives/Water evaporating off the skin, exposure to low seasonal temperatures/cold weather, handling cold objects.
Homeopathic medicines are immuno-modulators hence gives deep-level healing, it is important to correct altered immune system in such auto-immune condition. It helps in decreasing activation of mast cells and Histamines release so it is not just symptomatic relief but treating once disease tendency. It controls the exaggerated reaction of the immune system to allergens. Homeopathic medicines reduce the excessive sensitivity of the skin. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat urticaria but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility, it arrests the chronic tendency towards urticaria.
Do’s & Dont’s:
1) Wear loose, comfortable clothes
2) Stay warm: Avoid to go out for a long time in winter season, and if you must go outside, cover up as much exposed skin as possible
3) Avoid ice-cold drinks and food. If you’re having something cold, get small sips or bites to avoid any lips irritation or swelling
4) Avoid sudden changes in temperature
Evaluation of the final remedy needs a complete history of the patient which gives a fair idea about the underlying cause of the problem. There are no disease specific medicines in homeopathy. The exact treatment is determined only on “in-depth” evaluation of the individual case. Let us have a glimpse of those wonderful natural homeopathic remedies which one can opt for Cold Urticaria.
1) RHUS-TOXICODENDRON: Urticarial rashes from getting wet, especially after being over-heated, getting wet while perspiring with rheumatism or during chills and fever. Urticarial eruption itching in worse hairy parts. Worse during cold, wet rainy weather, after rain, at night, during rest and better by warm, dry weather.
2) SEPIA OFFICINALIS: Urticaria on upper body breaks out in cold air and disappears in a warm room. The eruption in the form of wheals as if due to blows with a whip or rod. Urticaria worse on exposure to open air, north wind, snowy air, snowfall, wet, which is not relieved by scratching. Worse in bends of elbows and knees. The attacks are preceded by nausea and pressing headache with a face swollen.
3) CHLORALUM: Urticaria worse from Spirituous liquors, hot drinks with palpitation causes pain in tendons & extensions. Urticaria worse by night disappears by day and comes on by night with such intense itching as to prevent from sleeping, suddenly appear from the chill, better by warmth.
4) DULCAMARA: Urticaria from being chilled while hot, sudden changes of temperature, cold drinks, ice creams, damp ground, cellars, beds, sweat, uncovering. Hot days and cold nights. Urticaria with a violent cough and oedema of glands, restlessness, and sleeplessness. Urticaria from gastric disorders, indiscretion in diet or taking sour food. In females, the hives may be aggravated around the menstrual periods.
5) BOVISTA LYCOERDON: Urticaria triggered by water, from bathing.Urticaria covers the nearly whole body. Itching and burning worsen by scratching and at night. Urticaria with a disposition to diarrhea. Urticaria on the excitement with palpitation.
6) ARSENICUM ALBUM: Urticaria gets worse at the sea-shore and due to sea bathing. Urticaria with burning & restlessness. Asthma or Respiratory symptoms alternates with Urticaria. Worse in wet weather, after midnight, from cold, cold drinks, cold food, cold season. Better from heat, warm drinks.
– Written by Dr. Mithila, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah, Life Force team.