Possibility of being allergic to snow

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 22, 2009 6:40 pm

Have any of you ever heard of someone being allergic to snow? Mind as well be allergic to fun. What would you do?? Well, the more pertinent question is—is it even possible? After all, wouldn’t you be allergic to water if you were allergic to snow? Doesn’t make sense.

The question was posed on a Yahoo! answer board, and here’s how the conversation went:

-i know this sounds strange, but my step-sister Taylor is allergic to the snow (or so it seems).
she is not allergic to the cold, so don’t say that, and ill tell u why.
we first found it out a few weeks ago when we were snowmobiling. her face was a little red from the wind, but that was normal. but then we hit a part on a field where it was all powder. some of the powder kicked up from my dads sled, and her helmet shield thingy was down, and the powder hit her in the face. then about 15 minutes later, her face was covered in raised bumps.

ever since then we have noticed that she gets the bumps when she plays outside, and gets hit with snow…or any time her skin touches snow.

-The snow may contain chemicals in it. A good example is acid rain which could be converted to snow too.

You can also have mixture from the surroundings. For example, I was watching that show on survival from Discovery channel and they were warning about different colors on the snow. Some will get you sick if ingested. In any case, that is just an example and snow is not always pure.

-Maybe in your town. If it has industry with smoke stacks. Remember that snow is like rain. Moisture forms around a dust particle in the air and then the combined weight of a couple of moisture particles is heavier than the dust and won’t float anymore as gravity pulls it downward in the form of rain and snow(in the winter. The dust could be from Siberia, or Australia, or from the foundry in the next town. The dust could be dirt or car exhaust, or pollen.
If she was allergic to snow she would be allergic to water and as her body is 80% water, that would be unlikely.

-Snow is water, no different than the ice cubes in your freezer. However, because it is outside and not filtered in any manner, it can contain microscopic particles of things she might be allergic to – bacteria, pesticides from the yard, pollen from trees, etc.

-Urticaria (hives) can be caused by exposure to cold in some people. An interesting experiment might be to try an ice cube to the face and see if that causes the bumps too. If so, you’ll know it’s not the snow per se but the cold temperature.

-NO you cannot be allergic to snow, its just frozen water.

Dear readers, any insight from you?