Kyla Tagg has to wrap up warm whenever she goes outside this winter – not just because she risks getting cold, but because her allergy could see her break out in a nasty rash from one frosty day
Image: CATERS NEWS)
A young teen who is allergic to the cold breaks out in a painful rash over her body whenever she leaves the house during winter.
Elizabeth Tagg, 36, says daughter, Kyla, now 13, was officially diagnosed with cold urticaria – an allergy to the cold – when she was six-years-old and to avoid a reaction, tries to stay inside as much as possible during harsh winter months.
When Elizabeth, from Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent, first noticed rashes on her daughter when she was two years old she assumed the tot just had sensitive skin as she was completely unaware that an allergy to cold weather existed.
But as Kyla got older, the severity of the allergy increased to the point where even the slightest temperature change could affect her – such as getting out of a warm bath.
She said: “I first began noticing Kyla’s reaction when she was about two and it carried on for a few years before we realised why it could be happening.
“I just assumed she must have very sensitive skin as I’d never even heard of anybody being allergic to the cold before.
“It first started during winter months when we would take Kyla out to play in the snow and make snowmen. I’d notice blisters appear on her cheeks as they were the only part of her body that was exposed.
“But they would just disappear when we went back inside so I didn’t think too much of it.
“It carried on for a few years until it started to get worse.
“Eventually, during the winter of the end of 2013 and start of 2014, her cold allergy became really bad.
“She started having a reaction to any slight temperature change where she would go from being warm to slightly cooler, for example when we would take her out of the bath she would have a reaction.”
As Kyla’s reactions began to get more severe, she noticed a tingling rash on her body and watched as her face and hands would also swell up.
Parents, Elizabeth and Mark, 35, took her to doctors who identified the cold allergy and diagnosed her with cold urticaria.
Elizabeth said: “I’d never heard of this condition before and I didn’t even know that being allergic to the cold was possible.
“When we received the diagnosis it was awful. As a parent, you don’t want to think of your child suffering from any kind of condition.
“It sounded so scary to hear that Kyla had a cold allergy because it seemed hard to protect her from, especially living in England where it can even be cold during the summer sometimes.
“We were advised to keep her inside as much as possible and protect her from the cold. During winter we hardly took her out of the house and if she did she would be well wrapped up from top to bottom.
“It made me feel so guilty as a parent because I felt like she couldn’t go out and do things like all the other kids.
“I felt like I was holding her back because we stopped taking her out to play in the snow and she stayed indoors with a couple of friends while she was at school.
“I felt bad that she was missing out on a lot of stuff because of her allergy.”
Now as the teen learns to take care of herself, she is also learning to manage the condition.
But despite never leaving the house without being well wrapped up in layers, sometimes the harsh winter conditions can still go through her clothes and give her a nasty reaction.
Elizabeth said: “It’s such an uncomfortable condition for her and it often causes her to not leave the house in case she has a reaction in public and when she is with her friends.
“When she has a reaction it is usually a nasty rash on her face and she hates anyone staring at it or asking her about it.
“It’s not a nice thing for anyone to go through, especially a teenage girl, because people often do a double-take of her if she has had a reaction.
“She takes antihistamine tablets to try and combat her reactions if she has been out or if she knows that she will be going out.
“We don’t want it to take over her life and miss out on everything, so she often weighs up the pros and cons of going out and having a reaction if there is something she really wants to do.
“But most of the time she stays indoors to avoid it.”