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10 most bizarre allergies

By: Laura Moss on Jan. 17, 2011, 11:05 a.m.
woman bundled up in cold weather

Photo: jupiterimages

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People with cold urticaria are allergic to cold temperatures, and exposure to chilly air or frigid water can cause their skin to turn red, swell, itch and develop hives. While sucking on a popsicle or strolling through the frozen food section can be uncomfortable for someone with such an allergy, an activity like swimming in cold water can evoke a severe, whole-body reaction — leading to fainting, shock or even death. The cause of cold urticaria isn’t clear, but some people may have overly sensitive skin cells due to genetics or illness.