Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Cold urticaria can be diagnosed by placing an ice cube on exposed skin for several minutes. If you have cold urticaria, a raised, red bump (hive) will form after the ice cube is removed.

Most cases of urticaria occur in children and young adults and don't have an apparent underlying cause. This type of urticaria usually gets better on its own after a few weeks to months, but sometimes it can last for years.

In some cases, cold urticaria is caused by an underlying condition that affects the immune system. Some conditions that can cause cold urticaria include hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers or an infection such as mononucleosis. If your doctor suspects you have an underlying condition, you may need blood tests or other tests.

Nov. 15, 2011