Cold urticaria


Diagnosing cold urticaria involves placing an ice cube on the skin for five minutes, which typically leads to the formation of a raised bump (hive) shortly after removing the ice cube. Sometimes, an underlying immunerelated condition like an infection or cancer can be responsible for cold urticaria. If such an underlying cause is suspected by your doctor, additional tests like blood tests might be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. 


Cold urticaria can resolve spontaneously after a few weeks or months for some individuals, yet it may endure for a more extended duration in others; although a definitive cure is lacking, effective treatments and preventive strategies are available to manage symptoms. Your healthcare provider might recommend diverse approaches, encompassing nonprescription antihistamines and minimizing cold exposure, to alleviate or prevent symptoms; if these prove inadequate, more potent prescription drugs could be considered. 

Medications prescribed to treat cold urticaria include: 

  • Nondrowsy antihistamines: Taking antihistamines like loratadine or desloratadine before cold exposure can help prevent reactions. 
  • Omalizumab: Primarily used for asthma, this medication has shown effectiveness in treating cold urticaria when other treatments have failed.

If an underlying health condition is responsible for your cold urticaria, you may require additional medications or treatments for that particular concern. If you’ve had serious reactions before, your doctor might give you a special device called an epinephrine autoinjector to carry with you, just in case. 


Selfcare includes the use of antihistamines to block the release of histamine, which generates symptoms. These antihistamines can be used to manage mild cold urticaria symptoms or to prevent reactions. Nonprescription options are available for these antihistamines.