Man Nearly Died From Cold Air Allergy After a Shower

All he did was walk out of the hot shower when he realized he couldn't breathe.
Fabienne Lang

When you get out of your warm shower and reach out for your towel, you don't expect much to happen. Yes, in winter, you typically feel the unpleasant rush of cool air hit your wet body, but all you experience are a few unpleasant moments.

However, it was a very different story for a man in Colorado. He got out of his hot shower, walked into the cold air of his bathroom, and suffered a major allergic reaction that made him collapse, break out in hives, and struggle to breathe. 

The 34-year-old suffered from anaphylaxis. He was brought to the hospital and luckily survived the ordeal, per Live Science who was the first to report on the incident.

A report of the case was published on October 27th, in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.


From shower to hospital

Imagine the man's family's surprise and panic when they found him on the floor of the bathroom, struggling to breathe, and with his skin covered in hives. 

The report stated that his family knew of his allergic reactions to "cold weather," and informed the paramedics when they arrived on the scene. In the past, he had suffered from allergic reactions to the cold, but never anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis causes blood pressure to plummet and airways to narrow. Once in the hospital, doctors diagnosed the man with cold urticaria, through a method that uses an ice cube placed on the person's skin for five minutes to see if it breaks out in hives or red itchy skin. Reactions can happen from cold air hitting skin, or from consuming cold drinks. 

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The cause of such an allergic reaction is not yet known. Some point out that it may be genetic, or due to being exposed to certain viral infections or cancers. 

In the case of the 34-year-old, his family explained that he started having allergic reactions upon returning from a stint in Micronesia. Going from sub-tropical climates such as in Micronesia, to cold ones such as in Colorado may have been what sparked his allergic reactions.

After being given antihistamine and steroids, the man's condition improved and he could later go home after being recommended not to expose his entire body to cold temperatures, per Live Science.