It's freezing! Imagine if you were allergic to the cold...


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As students here in Happy Valley, we are all acutely aware of the freezing temperatures the region is subject to. There are actually some people who are allergic to cold temperatures!

I remember my freshman year there was a girl on my THON committee who claimed to be allergic to the cold. I wasn't sure at first, but it turned out she had to wear a specially insulted jacket that had hot water constantly streaming through it. Her doctors and parents also strongly urged her to transfer to a southern school. Of course, who wants to leave Penn State? She stayed until her graduation but had to be extremely, extremely cautious of the cold weather.

Upon further research, this affliction is called cold urticaria. It can also be known as cold allergy or cold hives. Exposure to the cold can cause redness, itching, swelling, and hives. Cold water (not just the air) also causes this symptoms. Swimming in cold water is the most common cause of a severe reaction; it can lead to fainting, shock, and death. 

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