Cold urticaria is a chronic, reactive skin
disorder. The population most affected is young adults age 18 to 25 years Severe reactions can be seen with exposure to cold water. Swimming in cold water is the most common cause of a severe reaction. This can cause a massive release of histamine resulting in low blood pressure, fainting, shock, and even death. This allergic response can take several forms, from rashes to wheezing, hives, swelling and redness.