Are You Freezing In Your Office During The Summer? You Might Have A Temperature Allergy
Most people are thrilled when summer finally arrives… until they’re sequestered in frigid office spaces for at least eight hours a day. The drastic shift in temperatures you experience when moving from the outdoors to your desk chair really does feel pretty freaking uncomfortable, but for some people, it’s more than just an annoyance. It catalyzes a full-blown allergy.
There’s a rare condition out there called cold urticaria, and it typically manifests as a skin reaction to cold temperatures minutes after exposure to those freezing temperatures begins. Most people with cold urticaria develop hive-like welts on their skin that are both red and itchy.
However, other symptoms can include swelling hands when holding cold objects, swelling lips when consuming cold foods or drinks and a worsening of the hives reaction as the skin warms. Most of these symptoms stick around for approximately two hours. And the unlucky few who have severe symptoms can even experience a racing heart, fainting and shock.
Clearly, the freezing cold office isn’t the only environment where these symptoms can appear. Any sudden drop in temperatures can inspire a cold urticaria response, be it jumping into cold water or getting caught in a cool storm that blew into town all of a sudden.
The fun part about this reaction is that no one knows what exactly causes it. Yayyy. At least it only affects less than 3 percent of the population. But if you’re part of that lucky group, we can’t help but feel for ya.
To mitigate the uncomfortable side effects, your best bet is to pop an antihistamine prior to your exposure to dramatic cold (assuming you know it’s coming) or just avoid those severe shifts in temperatures in the first place. Obviously, that’s not always a reasonable course of action, but there you have it.
We know we’ll be leaving blanket scarves at our desks this summer…