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Allergic to Cold: Eczema Chronicles of a Young Dancer – Battling Allergies to Tears and Sweat

11-Year-Old Dancer: Allergic to Tears, Sweat and Cold Challenge of Being Allergic to Cold


In a heart-wrenching story of resilience, an 11-year-old dancer, allergic to cold faces a skin condition that turns her own tears and sweat into sources of discomfort. This article explores the challenges faced by Summah Williams, who, at the end of 2022, found herself admitted to the hospital with a dry, cracked skin condition accompanied by redness and swelling beneath a layer of skin.

Discovery and Diagnosis: Unraveling the Challenges of Being Allergic to Cold

At first, her mother, 47-year-old Karen Ziemni, thought it was merely a sunburn. However concerns heightened when she noticed her otherwise healthy daughter shivering in the warmth and experiencing itching throughout the night. Infections followed, leading to a snake-like rash spreading from face to toe when she was on antibiotics. Ziemni described it as “frightening – her entire face and body oozed, and bathing was a challenge, especially for someone allergic to cold.

Eczema Diagnosis

The diagnosis revealed that Summah developed a rare form of eczema, causing her to be allergic to her own tears and sweat. Ziemni shared, “[It] is heart-wrenching because she loves to dance.” Summah, when witnessing her dance friends, becomes distressed, asking, “Why can’t I have skin like theirs?” It’s a truly disheartening situation.

Current Treatment and Challenges: Navigating the Struggle of Being Allergic to Cold

Summah is currently undergoing trials with a new injection called Dupixent, yet intense flares persist on her face. The struggle continues as she endeavors to keep pursuing her passion for dance despite the physical and emotional challenges.

Coping with Eczema

Allergic to Cold: Eczema Chronicles of a Young Dancer - Battling Allergies to Tears and Sweat
Coping with Eczema

Australia records a high incidence of eczema in children, especially during the hot summer months. Parents, concerned about their children’s skin, are seeking relief, particularly for those allergic to cold. The use of products like “Irritable Skin Balm Eczema Cream” has seen significant growth in sales, indicating a growing demand for solutions to alleviate the discomfort faced by individuals with eczema and similar skin conditions.

Practical Tips

– Gentle Skincare: Avoid harsh soaps, foaming agents, and fragrances in skincare.

– Moisturize: Keep the skin hydrated and apply fragrance-free products after bathing.

– Check Detergents: Verify laundry detergents for skin-friendly options.

– Moderate Showers: Reduce shower and bath temperatures to prevent natural oils from being stripped off the skin.

– Dietary Considerations: Reduce sugar and yeast intake, opting for foods rich in omega-3 and vitamin E.

Seeking Professional Advice

For anyone dealing with eczema, especially those allergic to cold or experiencing skin irritation, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional specializing in dermatology. They can provide personalized guidance on managing skin issues and identifying potential environmental or dietary triggers.

Summah’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by those with eczema, highlighting the need for understanding, support, and ongoing research to find effective treatments for this complex condition.

Emotional Impact

While Summah grapples with the physical challenges of eczema, the emotional toll is equally profound. The impact on her self-esteem and mental well-being is a testament to the often-overlooked aspects of living with a visible skin condition. Her mother, Karen Ziemni, emphasizes the heartbreak of witnessing her daughter’s distress as she compares herself to her dance peers.

A Community of Support: Embracing Those Allergic to Cold

Despite the hardships, Summah finds solace in the support of her dance community, family and friends. Their understanding and encouragement play a pivotal role in helping her navigate the emotional rollercoaster that comes with eczema. This community support serves as a reminder of the importance of empathy and fostering environments that embrace diversity and uniqueness.

Raising Awareness: The Power of Storytelling

Summah’s journey sheds light on the need for increased awareness about eczema, including its various manifestations among individuals allergic to cold. By sharing her story, she not only educates others about the challenges of living with this condition but also inspires those facing similar struggles. The power of storytelling becomes a tool for breaking down stigmas and fostering a more inclusive society.

Advocacy for Eczema Research

Allergic to Cold: Eczema Chronicles of a Young Dancer - Battling Allergies to Tears and Sweat
Eczema Research

Summah’s story also underscores the urgency of continued research into effective treatments for eczema. The ongoing trials with Dupixent highlight the strides being made in medical advancements. Increased awareness and advocacy can contribute to funding and support for research initiatives aimed at better understanding and treating eczema.

A Glimpse into the Future: Hope and Resilience

As Summah faces the uncertainties of her journey, her resilience becomes a beacon of hope for others dealing with eczema or similar conditions. The relentless pursuit of her passion for dance, despite the challenges, showcases the strength of the human spirit.

Looking Ahead

Summah’s story is a poignant reminder that, beyond the immediate struggles, there is a future filled with possibilities. As medical research, driven by the pressing needs of individuals allergic to cold and other unique conditions like eczema progresses and awareness grows, the hope for improved treatments and support systems becomes more tangible.


Summah’s inspiring journey not only highlights the physical challenges of eczema but also emphasizes the importance of emotional well-being and community support. Her story is a call to action for increased awareness, empathy, and continued efforts to advance medical research in the quest for better treatments and, ultimately, a brighter future for individuals like Summah.

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