She's allergic to winter

November 26, 2008 1:24:11 PM PST
Few of us really LIKE the cold & snow of winter. But Jaylyn Rogers of Salt Lake City, Utah is actually allergic to it. Even when Jaylyn covers up completely, she can only be outside for a short time. She says, "It burns. I feel like it's heating up. And I'll touch my skin, and it's cold. I have felt lightheaded or dizzy, like I need to sit down." Jaylyn gets hives, a condition called cold urticaria. For people with a serious, inherited version, cold urticaria can be life-threatening, even in warm weather. Dr. Gerald Gleich, of the University of Utah, says, "They jump into a swimming pool. They have a massive reaction, such as getting hives all over. The blood pressure drops, and if they're not treated quickly and adequately, they can die from this." Jaylyn's condition isn't quite that serious. However, when an ice cube is strapped to her arm for 5 minutes, the skin underneath swells. Jaylyn has joined an experiment at the University of Utah, to test a drug normally used for asthmatics, to see if it reduces the antibody which triggers the hives. If the drug works, she might be able to enjoy winter.

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