Snow Allergy (Not a Joke)

We have had a shocking afternoon. Annelise wanted to play outside in the tiny bit of snow we have after lunch in her new snow pants. Totally fine. She decked herself out from head to toe - boots, snow pants, coat, hat, & gloves. After about 20 minutes, she walked back in the door, laughing about getting snow on her face...and my jaw hit the floor. Her face was almost purple and covered in bumps. So was a tiny strip of skin on each of her wrists b/t her gloves & coat. I expected her cheeks to be icy to the touch - nope: they were ON FIRE!!!

I asked if her skin was itchy or hurting; she said no, but after about 10 minutes, she said it felt like her face was burning. I still don't know if I would have put it together, had I not had the doctor tell me I was probably "allergic" to the cold last month and then my mom tell me about my aunt who literally breaks out in a rash when she gets too cold. Annelise has had a massive reaction to snow!
After about an hour & a half of being back inside, the bumps were finally gone and Annelise's cheeks were back to normal pink & cool to the touch.

I am swirling with emotion...

I feel stupid. Stupid that I didn't put this together sooner. She never really played in the snow until last year when she started school. Her (wonderful) teacher Ms. Basia & I tried forever to figure out what was making her face break out then, as well. I even wondered if there was something that had touched shrimp (her only food allergy) at lunch. [Nope.] We finally thought it was her scarf irritating her face & ditched that...but then it didn't snow, again. This shouldn't be a surprise. I have extremely sensitive skin (I can't even get facials; sensitive skin ones burn me) and Will does, too. Even when we lived in mild Georgia, when I'd carry him from the car to the dance studio just across the parking lot in winter, it looked like his cheeks had been severely slapped. When we moved north, his skin went nuts with full-blown eczema that looked like measles. We had to slather him in ridiculous amounts of goop whenever he'd been outside. Even at school last year, we had to coat his cheeks with stuff. I just can't believe none of this clicked until now.

I feel angry. Angry I put my instincts that this is NOT "just how it is when you live up north" on the back burner. And really angry at every rude know-it-all who tried to make me feel like a dumb, pathetic, weak Southerner who wouldn't give winter a chance when I talked about how hard the cold is on me & my kids. I want to scream in their faces, "LOOK AT THESE PICS!"

I feel justified. Justified in knowing what's good for me & my kids. I had a little panic attack yesterday morning when we woke up to the snow. My chest got tight, it felt like someone was sitting on it, and I had to really concentrate to catch my breath. I had to stop everything and pray for a few minutes, "God, I know that I can handle this with Your grace. Please help me not freak out." It's no secret that I hate snow, cold, & winter...but I almost feel like the extremity of these emotions is a natural mama survival instinct - my kids & I are not healthy in this type of weather, and some mama instinct deep inside knows this & wants me to protect them from it. There's a reason it freaks me out. Of course, I don't want to wallow in misery all winter, nor do I plan on doing that whatsoever!!! I will keep praying, and God will help me to keep dealing...but I do feel very justified in my extreme aversion.


  1. I really found it hard to believe that Aunt Frances got a rash from the cold, but it is true. I am so very sorry it has affected Will & Sissy so strongly. Maybe it will get better as they get older.

  2. I couldn't believe it when I saw the title, but you are so right! It makes complete sense! I am so sorry you and your little buddies have such trouble in the cold weather. Wish you could just come move in next door to us!

  3. Thanks, y'all. Shelley - ONE DAY God will make us neighbors! I proclaim it in faith!!! :-)

  4. I hate that you and the munchkins have to go through this. However... on the bright side, for them at least, right now, they can mostly be fixed by warming them up with hot cocoa and lots of warm mommy hugs.

    I'll help you pray that God will move you back home sooner rather than later.

  5. Oh my stars!!!! Bless her heart! You know it is difficult being a Southern Mom in a not Southern place (I did it with my 3 in Upstate NY). I wonder if there is something you can coat her skin with that might help (((????)))

    BTW, thanks for taking a peek at our "new" dining room!

  6. Oh how sad! I am so sorry for you guys :( But I am so glad that you have figured this out!

  7. wow - i am so thankful that you actually have an answer to what is causing the reaction and i'm thankful that you have something to respond back to people when they look at you funny. prayers have been sent up to heaven on your behalf over the past week, knowing the snow was coming and thinking of you. God can and will carry you through this! he is bigger! i'll also be praying for God to put in your path something to put on your's, will's, and sissy's skin to help it when its been in the snow. **hugs**

  8. I just found out this week my 2 yr old son is allergic to the cold, described in your first paragraph the thin strip of skin on his wrists would have huge welts on it along with any other skin exposed, and if any snow got up his snow bibs his legs broke out as well. But I feel better after having found your blog, and I also read on the Mayo Clinic website that chances are he will out grow this problem in 2 to 3 yrs. I hope he will anyways. I have sensitive skin too but I have never broke out like that. I hope your daughter will out grow this allergy!

  9. NicsMommy - thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to comment & share support!!! I have worse pics of the 2nd time it happend to her in Dec - - sounds very much like the same thing your son has, too. Praying they both grow out of it quickly!!!

  10. I grew up all over the place with my father in the Navy, once living in Boston. The fresh snow had just come down and I took the trash out. In those twenty steps by the time I had got back in the house, I had completely broken out hives all over my body.
    I believe now I've outgrown the allergy for the most part, I now live in Ohio, the only time I have an issue is when the snow sits on my bare skin for any period of time.
    As a child though I also had to come in and take a warm bath with baking soda to sooth my hives along with benedryl.
    Best of luck!


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