Ice, ice baby, ice, ice baby.

This cold weather has us singing “Ice, ice baby, Ice, ice baby”

Much less common is cold urticaria, which is essentially an allergic reaction to cold temperatures. Cold urticaria involves itchy hives that appear after a few minutes of being exposed to the cold outdoors. To diagnose this, an ice cube is placed on the skin for a few minutes and upon removal, hives will typically rise several minutes after the ice cube is removed. Cold urticaria is very distinct from winter allergies and the common cold but is nonetheless a type of allergic reaction that frequently occurs in the winter. To control urticaria, your allergist can tailor a specific regimen to help prevent these reactions from occurring. These medications could be oral or even once a month injections.

To determine if you are allergic to dust mites, mold, or pet dander, you might want to consider having a skin test done, which is a quick (usually 15 minutes to get results), non-invasive, and pain free test. At Allergy MD, we offer skin testing for environmental allergies and treatment options for any type of allergies.

Skin irritation from your jewelry.

If you have ever experienced an itchy rash on your finger, neck, or ear where a piece of jewelry was placed, you may have concluded that you have an allergic reaction to jewelry. This type of reaction is termed contact dermatitis, which can be pretty painful and may last for days or weeks. The most common metal allergy is Nickel, which is why some pieces of jewelry may be labeled as “Nickel-free” or “Gold-plated Nickel”. The simplest way to address jewelry allergies is to avoid any that cause irritation or contain Nickel and choose jewelry that only contain Gold. However, though this may be more rare, some people may be allergic to pure gold. Nickel testing kits which are available for purchase may be used to determine which of your rash-causing jewelry pieces contain Nickel. 

You may have also seen your skin turn green after wearing a piece of jewelry for a long period of time. This is a common observation after wearing jewelry that contains a large amount of copper or nickel. Copper is especially known to react with your skin and sweat, resulting in a green color. Important to note is that this skin discoloration is not an allergic reaction as it can happen to anyone and depends on how their body reacts to the different amounts of copper in their jewelry. This reaction is typically painless and disappears after removing the piece of jewelry.

While there is no “cure” or therapy for jewelry allergies, it would be helpful to speak to an Allergist and discuss treatments to any irritating jewelry you come across.