Cold weather is not for everyone, and certainly not for 21-year-old Arianna Kent from Canada.
The young woman suffered from an auto-immune disease called cold-induced urticaria. The condition causes her skin to react to cold, and it is so severe even a cool breeze or cold water could hospitalize her.
When Arianna is exposed to cold, her skin breaks out in itchy pin-like hives, and in extreme cases, she can go into anaphylactic shock.
She first became aware of her condition when she was 14 years old. She began experiencing symptoms while she was shoveling snow.
"I can feel it in my throat if I'm drinking something cold, it feels tight and tense, it's the same if I eat ice cream."
It is a rare condition that not even doctors always know exists.
"Some professionals have no idea and look at me like I'm crazy," she explains.
She can not go outside during cold days and has to stay indoors.
"It is a slow process, starting as small pin-sized hives on my arm that get bigger and begin to become raised. At their largest, my whole body can look like a whole swollen welt," Adrianna describes her symptoms.
"It causes my skin to burn and itch, for my throat, it's like asthma where you are wheezing harder and find it difficult to breathe."
"It's like something is sitting on your chest, making it feel tighter and heavier. I can go into full-blown anaphylactic shock, so I have to carry an Epipen."
"It's terrifying knowing that if I'm in an area without access to medical help and my throat closes up, I could be at serious risk."
Despite her severe symptoms, people do not always believe her condition is real. "I'm allergic to the cold" is usually nothing people hear.
Arianna has gotten comments like, "Yes, Arianna, we know you're always cold, but that doesn't mean you're allergic to it."
When she was working in a restaurant, the managers did not think she looked professional wearing a cardigan, and it was not until they saw her skin break out in hives when she got too close to the air-conditioner or fridge that they realized her condition was real.
Arianne must also be careful with her diet since foods containing histamines like cheese, yogurt, cream, pickles, pineapples, and fermented meats are a no.
Living in a place where temperatures can drop as low as -40 degrees is a huge problem. Moving to a warmer country could help her condition to an extent. However, air conditioning, wind, and temperature changes will always be a problem for her.
We sincerely hope her story can help people learn that this is an actual disease so they can better understand people who suffer from cold-induced urticaria.