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Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: I become unbearably itchy when I go from hot to cold


 yoshinyapapa - Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:29 am

Beginning every late fall, every time I go outside and then come inside (from a cold place to a hot place), I get itchy - unbearably itchy. This itchiness can last anywhere from thirty seconds to fifteen minutes and can often make me very uncomfortable. I always have to take off my coat and start scratching immediately after walking into a building (as long as it was somewhat cold while I was outside). Most of the itching occurs on my back, and also on my chest, shoulders, arms, neck, and head where my hair is. I also seem to become more itchy when I'm nervous or near large crowds of people (but even this only occurs when it's cold outside and hot inside). I'm 19, male, and this has been occurring for the past two winters.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:59 pm

User avatar Hi Yoshinyapapa,

You may have a hyperhistamine condition. Allergy symptoms are due to histamine release. In some people, the body makes more histamine than usual. Histamine is stored in the mast cells of the body. Increases in temperature can trigger histamine release from these cells.

Often, people with this condition can lightly scratch their skin and it turns quite red. This condition is called dermatographia (basically the ability to write on the skin). it is also associated with the increased histamine release.

You may consider trying an antihistamine (allergy medicine). Taking a medicaiton such as this may help blunt the effect of the temperature changes.

Best wishes.

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