A woman has spoken out about her potentially deadly allergy to the cold, after people thought the illness was a joke.
Twenty-six-year-old Alysha McEntire, from Cleveland in Oklahoma, has cold-induced urticaria, which causes her body to flood with histamine and other chemicals, and can lead to anaphylactic shock.
The mum-of-three initially thought that the itchy blotches on her body were caused by some tablets she was taking, but when she stopped, she found her symptoms got even worse.
If she comes into contact with anything cold her body breaks out in hives. Credit: Caters
She found that the spots cropped up after she got cold, and now something as simple as sitting on a cold floor or going out in the rain could cause a reaction.
Alysha has to wrap up in multiple layers to make sure she doesn't become exposed to the cold and avoids going out when the temperatures drop.
But despite the fact her condition could kill her, Alysha says many people still think her allergy isn't real or that it's a 'joke', with some claiming it's just 'dry skin'.
Alysha, a certified nursing aid, said: "I first noticed my arms were itchy, then by morning they were full of hives.
"I thought it was just dry skin on my arm but as the night progressed, they looked like little mosquito bites.
"By the morning my entire body was covered in hives - my body was super sensitive at the time.
The mum-of-three says people don't understand her condition, with some even thinking it's a 'joke'. Credit: Caters
"If I walked outside and then back in, my face would be covered - even my lips - and if I sat on a cold floor, hives would appear on my legs.
"I have noticed if I get into my car when it's not warmed up, my ankles will get hives - or if I have holes in my jeans they will appear there too.
"It can take five to ten minutes for a reaction to happen. My allergist advised that I avoid the cold as any allergy can lead to anaphylactic shock.
"People don't know it's a thing or a possibility, they think it's hilarious as they have never heard of it.
"I mostly get reactions of people being shocked to know that being allergic to the cold is a real thing. Most people think I'm joking,
"It can be frustrating when people make jokes because they just don't get it. During winter I try to stay inside as much as possible unless I have to go to the store or to work.
She now has to take three different types of medication to keep her symptoms under control. Credit: Caters
"It did especially suck when we had snow as I couldn't play outside with my children. I tried it for a couple of seconds but went back inside and avoided it."
While trying to work out the cause of her allergies, Alysha took a trip to the hospital where she was told to take anti-histamine medication, but she found that it only got rid of her symptoms for an hour.
During a flare-up, Alysha has a red rash that is itchy and uncomfortable, but in a worst case scenario, allergic reactions such as this can cause a person's throat to close up.
To manage her condition, Alysha takes three allergy medications twice a day.
Featured Image Credit: Caters