Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Allergy, AGAIN

The kids had a snow day off school today. Let me go on record saying that snow days are my new personal hell. Just in case anyone thought her snow allergy was a fluke or didn't really believe me, this was her last time playing out in the snow *EVER IN HER LIFE* this morning:
Because when she came in, (even after everyone had been warned not to let the snow touch her skin):
Her back is what got me this time. (Her shirt was damp, so even though I had tucked it in tightly & pulled the bungee cords in her coat, apparently kid play can undo anything.) I wanted to throw up and burst into tears when I saw it. (I want to all over again right now seeing the pic...) My neighbor was here with us and said she would have never believed it, had she not been here to see the entire progression in person. It truly is purely the snow.

I gave her Benadryl this time, and the rash went away MUCH faster. Seeming-proof of a histamine reaction. When I told the doctors in the hospital last week about her previous reaction, they totally brushed it off. One even said, "If she's allergic to snow, she'd be allergic to water." Wow. Thanks for your help & support. Like I'm an idiot. Hello - if people can get heat rash, why couldn't others get a "snow rash"?

I don't believe everything on the internet is true, but I have discovered we're not alone.

The medical diagnosis is "cold urticaria" and apparently effects 2% of the population. From the Mayo Clinic: As strange as it sounds, it's possible to have an allergy to cold temperatures. Doctors refer to this as cold urticaria (ur-tih-KAR-ee-uh). It's also sometimes called cold allergy or cold hives. With cold urticaria, exposure to cold temperatures causes redness, itching, swelling and hives on your skin. As much as possible, people with cold urticaria should avoid exposure to cold... Treatment for cold urticaria may include antihistamines taken before cold exposure.

While I'm very thankful for further validation, I really just want to bawl my head off. Who could stand to see their child at less than 100%? (Esp. after last week. :'() It breaks my heart that she's not going to be allowed outside anymore to play whenever there's snow. (Just b/c *I* hate it & won't play in it, doesn't mean I want to hold my child back from enjoying it.) I hate feeling even more trapped now by winter weather. This is spiking my snow-freak-out-ness to gargantuan heights. Please pray for us: pray for her to stay healthy & avoid any future reactions, pray for me to be calm & anxiety-free over the snow, and pray for God to deliver us from this situation in whatever way best fits His will!!!

17 comments:

  1. so scary. i'm going to start praying harder for a job transfer to warm climates! it's a health issue now!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're right - it *IS* a real health issue now. When I showed her Montessori teachers the pics, they said I'd need to get a doctor's note to keep her inside when all the other kids go out in the snow. Um, the pics I showed you aren't proof enough??? I need to truck BACK to the ped? (Where I didn't get much support in the first place?) *Sigh* It also breaks my heart that she'll have to stay inside & not go out with her friends. :'(

    But I *KNOW* God will come through, though, with brilliant faithfulness!!!!!! I know He will deliver us!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, just saw the pics of your child. Just to let you know that it's more commom than you think. I have a Danish friend who is allergic to snow, we always use make fun of her saying how could a Danish be allergic to snow. This winter my son, for the third time today, had signs of snow allergy in his cheeks. I din't worry much as he is allergic to mosquito bites when we go to hot countries, his asthma is also trigged by cold temperatures and he has dairy products intolerance. I don't stop him from playing on snow, but I have to limit the time, up to 20 min. His rush goes away quickly after a warm bath. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was allergic to extreme cold and heat. I also seemed "allergic" to emotions. If I laughed hard, I broke out. If I got upset, I broke out. Just watching a tv show could bring on a breakout. It wasn't just if the snow touched me but if I simply got cold. However, the good news is, I grew out of it. By my later teens. Anybody else outgrow theirs?

    ReplyDelete
  5. My 5 year daughter experienced snow allergies this winter too.. her cheecks were swollen and had white circles inside..i wasn't sure if it was caused by antibiotics she was taking from strep throat or scarlet fever.. now i know that i am not the only one with the suspicion that snow and cold is a cause of an allergic reaction. thank you..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for sharing this information. A friend of mine down here in southern Tennessee shared with me today that she is originally from New Jersey, but had to move south because she would get "large bumps" all over her skin when it would snow. I'm in nursing school, so the future nurse in me wanted to find an answer; I had never heard of this before. She said a doctor had never explained it to her, so I'm going to pass this information along. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are all so welcome! I hate that anyone else has to deal with this, but I'm oddly glad we're not alone, you know?
    Positive update for us: we moved to south Georgia this year, so we no longer have to worry about snow!!! :-D
    But she has definitely NOT begun to out-grow it, yet. Just last weekend she was in a sleeveless top & cheer skirt in low 60's with wind and starting breaking out a bit on her arms. Always on the watch still...

    ReplyDelete
  8. my Daughter came in with the same rash on her face yesterday and then all over her body she gets this every year and we always thought it was just something to do with christmas because she cant even be around fake christmas trees without breaking out in hives, but yesterday we had our first snow fall and she came in and at first we thought frost bite but then we notcied it getting white and dry looking i said to my husband maybe she is allergic to the snow and he said is it possible? and i said i dont know, and weknow all to wel the DR's will not be willing to listen, they make it soo it seems its all in your head, but the diffrence between being allergic to snow and water is a mayjor diffrence because i get hives when i shower it is the chemmicals in the water witch maybe what offsets it so the kids dont get hives when bathing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is really useful, Sues. We live in a tropical country and my family does not come in contact with snow, except when we holiday. Coming in contact with snow caused a rash and extreme itching on my son's skin once. We were told that it might be an allergy but weren't sure. After reading your post, I know what it is. I am also keen that my son learns to ski. So I'm keen to find out if you've found a prevention to the allergy (other than avoiding snow) yet? Needless to say we're off snow until then.

    ReplyDelete
  10. We honestly have found no effective prevention, other than avoiding snow & cold. Thank goodness we no longer live where there's the threat of winter snow, but my daughter does *NOT* seem to be out-growing this at all. We have a backyard pool, and if she gets in when the water temp is under ~80°F, she breaks out in the same red bumps - not as scary as the snow, but there's no mistaking them. We're certainly never going on a family ski trip or ever moving north, again.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi,
    My daughter (9) has an allergy to snow also. She developes exema, and very itchy skin where ever the snow melts on her. Once the school even called because she was so itchy she could not sit still. She was itchy all over. On her way to work a school employee had heard that "people with snow mold allergies should not have thier windows open, or hang laundry on the line right now due to the continual snowing and melting of the spring weather". I brought her fresh clothes that had not dried on the line outside, and her itching was immedialty gone! I did read that people with snow mold allergies often have dark circles under the eyes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you seen that people have serious problems when swimming?

      My daughter (2) walked with us in the snow today and everywhere a flake touched she got a welt on her poor cheeks. I'm terrified, but nothing scares me as much as the swimming stories. We live in DC, and so can avoid the snow, but the public pool gets cold… and swimming is a favorite activity.

      Delete
  12. Yes, our daughter does break out in the red bumps all over her body if she gets into a pool that's less than about ~80°F. Luckily, we live in Texas now, and the pools are all VERY warm in the summer! WHEW!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've had this problem since I was in middle school. After standing at the bus stop for 10 mins in freezing temperatures, my face and neck would be broke out by the time I made it to school. But it's not just the snow that causes it. I'm currently 25 and I work with some women that really enjoy cold temperatures. In the summer time, they would turn the AC up so high it felt like a refrigerator in the building. I would always make sure I had on long sleeves to prevent a break out. I walk to work, even in the cold. By the time I get there(It's just a 10 min walk), my legs are usually already starting to itch. So, I usually end up taking benadryl either before or after I get there. I usually just avoid the cold. But I deal with it all in my own way. I'm sure your daughter will also find her own way to cope with it as she grows older as well. :]

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello,i just wanted to let you know you just saved me a lot of crying and everything else..My 3 year old just came in from playing in the snow with her dad and she has the same thing on her..so i came on here and you were the only one who had pics of what it looked like and some info on it that was true..i was ready to rush her to the hosp to have her looked at..i just wanted to lay think you thank you so much for doing this..i just gave her what you gave your little one..
    my little girl says Thank you too

    ReplyDelete
  15. Bless your heart, Celia! It is so scary!!! I'm so glad I could help!!!

    ReplyDelete