North Pole family sheds light on Cold Allergy

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Nikita Wise is a mother of five children. She lives one of the coldest cities in America, North Pole Alaska.

They have called Alaska home for the last ten years, but recently the state they have come to love, has now become a place they have to leave.

In an interview Wise spoke about her son, and his not so common allergy.

"Our son Nhemiyah, here, he's been diagnosed with cold Urticaria, which means he's allergic to the cold."

Nhemiyah's doctor, Doctor Timothy Foote with Tanana Valley Clinic's Pediatric Allery Department spoke about this conditition. Wise says if her son is exposed to cold temperatures or even cold water he breaks out in hives, and has other various symptoms. Foote explained,

"Cold on–set Urticaria's the problem that we are talking about. Urticaria means hives. Hives are raised red itchy welts, mosquito bite reactions. And they can seem quite random which is very frustrating for people, and itching is a very uncomfortable sensation, I've met people that say they'd rather be in pain then itch than the way they do from hives."

Nikita Wise spoke about some of the symptoms that occur. "So anytime that he come in contact with the cold he breaks out in hives form head to toe. And then he has a hard time breathing. His skin gets itchy, he gets red and irritated. He says his eyes burn and they hurt. They're hurting right now..

Wise says it's hard on not only young Nhemiyah, but the family as a whole. The other kids sometimes don’t want to go outside because they don’t want his brother to feel left out. When asked What are maybe somethings you wish you could do?"

Nhemiyah replied...

"Throw snow balls at my brother."

His mother said, "When we tell people they always think it's a joke, like yeah right, you just don't like the cold but it's actually a real thing and people don't believe it. But he is allergic to the cold, and when we first found out we didn't believe it either."

Dr. Foote noted, "I've met people who've had hives from the cold most of their lives. There are people who have inherited it."

Wise and her family are planning on relocating to the Phoenix, Arizona area, but with a large family, a move such as this is not only stressful but filled with uncertainty.

Despite the hardships the family remains optimistic.

They are willing to do what is needed to overcome these obstacles.

If you would like to know more about cold weather hives, you can visit the Mayo Clinics website backslash cold weather conditions- cold urticaria.