Warning: Graphic content
A woman from Cleveland in Oklahoma, US, has spoken out after people thought that her potentially fatal allergy to cold weather was a joke.
Alysha McEntire (26) suffers from cold-induced urticaria – a reaction causing histamine and other chemicals to be released into the bloodstream – which makes her body erupt in hives.
She initially believed the itchy blotches were caused by black elderberry tablets, but after quitting them her symptoms only intensified.
She realised that the spots occurred when she’d been exposed to cold.
Anything from being outside to sitting on a cold floor and even rain can cause a reaction for Alysha, and it could turn deadly if she goes into anaphylactic shock.
Alysha says people don’t believe her allergy is real and have often dismissed it as “bed bugs” or “dry skin”.
“I mostly get reactions of people being shocked to know that being allergic to the cold is a real thing. Most people think I’m joking,” she said.
Alysha, who works as a nurse aid, is forced to wrap up in numerous layers to avoid her skin ever becoming exposed to the cold.
“I have noticed if I get into my car when it’s not warmed-up, my ankles will get hives or if I have holes in my jeans they’ll appear there too,” she added.
“It can take five to 10 minutes for a reaction to happen, my allergist advised that I avoid the cold as any allergy can lead to anaphylactic shock.”
The mom-of-three says it gets frustrating during winter when she can’t play outside in the snow with her children.
She says the hives can get as big as the size of a US 25c piece (2,26cm).
“The biggest I would say were around the size of a quarter, but they all welt on top of each other – so I’m getting hives on top of hives.
“When I stopped taking the meds, I started getting them all over again.
Alysha has to take three allergy medications twice a day to manage her symptoms.
Source: Magazine Features