Category: 

What Is Dermographia?

Oral antihistamines may help control outbreaks caused by dermographia.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Revised By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 14 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Fluorescent light bulbs use 80% less electricity and last as much as 12 times longer than conventional light bulbs.  more...

April 16 ,  1947 :  The term "Cold War" w  more...

Dermographia is a dermatological condition that causes red lines, sometimes known as wheals or welts, to develop when a sufferer's skin is scratched or rubbed. It is also known as dermatographia, dermatographic urticaria, or "skin writing." Wheals are a type of hive and are not dangerous, but they can be itchy and uncomfortable. The marks usually last for just a few minutes, though in severe cases, they could linger for hours or days. There is no cure for the condition, though it is often possible to control outbreaks through a combination of lifestyle changes and taking oral antihistamines.

Symptoms

In patients with dermographia, even superficial scratching causes small blood vessels in the skin to dilate, or widen, and a wheal to form. Often, the swelling follows the line of the scratch, appearing as a raised red line on the skin. These hives or wheals may be itchy or, in rare cases, have a burning sensation.

The lines and wheals form with five minutes of the skin being scratched or stroked, in most cases, and disappear within 30 minutes. A form called delayed dermatographism does not exhibit symptoms for several hours after the initial trigger, and the hives can last for a day or longer. This condition may come and go, but people often experience

Ad

Causes and Frequency

Mast cells are a type of immune cell found in the skin, mucous membranes, and other tissues. When an allergen enters the body, these cells are stimulated, releasing chemicals called histamines that cause a runny nose, swollen eyes, rashes or hives, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction. In a person with dermographia, the mast cells become overly sensitive to minor trauma, and cause hives to appear on the skin when it is rubbed or scratched.

Experts are not sure what causes the mast cells to become overreactive. Some believe it is associated with allergies, since mast cells play a big role in allergic reactions, but others dispute this. Many sufferers have no other allergy symptoms and no specific allergen seems to trigger the condition.

Some people choose to undergo allergy testing anyway, in case the hives are triggered by — or made worse by — an identifiable cause. For example, some drugs, including penicillin, can cause a rash or hives. The most appropriate type of allergy test is a blood test, since traditional "scratch tests" or patch tests require rubbing the suspected allergens on a patient's skin. This can cause a reaction in someone with dermographia unrelated to the actual allergen.

Around 4% - 5% of people have dermographia, and it is considered one of the most common forms of urticarias, or disorders that produce hives. It tends to be more common in people in their 20s and 30s, and is equally common in men and women.

Prevention

While dermographia can’t be prevented outright, there are things that a person can do to minimize how frequent and how severe the outbreaks are. Those with the condition can make a point of identifying possible triggers and avoiding them. Possible triggers include wearing irritating fabrics, like wool, or using harsh soaps or personal care products. Some people find that eliminating fabric softener can also help prevent clothing-based reactions. Although this condition is not known to be caused by a specific allergy, it is possible that an allergic reaction could make the problem worse, so anything known to cause a reaction should be avoided.

Keeping the skin moisturized may also help. People with the condition should drink plenty of water and use a moisturizing lotion to reduce the chances of developing dry skin, which may encourage more scratching. Both heat and cold may trigger an outbreak, so things like bathing in very hot water may cause welts to form, so sufferers should adjust their hygiene routine to see if it offers relief.

Hives can develop as a result of stress, so someone who already has dermographia may find that the condition gets worse during particularly stressful times. Finding ways to relax and reduce anxiety may make the wheals less common.

Treatment and Prognosis

An outbreak of skin wheals caused by dermographia will usually go away on its own relatively quickly, so there is often no need to treat the condition. People who are extremely prone to outbreaks or who find the condition very uncomfortable may be treated over-the-counter or prescription oral antihistamines. Sometimes, a combination of drugs is needed to provide relief.

While antihistamines may reduce the symptoms, there is no known cure for this condition. In many cases, an outbreak may last for several months or years and then disappear. The wheals may eventually return for some sufferers, however.

Ad

Discuss this Article

anon943940
Post 190

I saw a dermatologist when I was very young. I am 58 now and since my menopause stopped a year ago, it has disappeared. Mine was never as severe as what I have read in the previous posts, just an irritation and unsightly mess when I do scratch. My 8 year old grandson has it now.

anon924240
Post 189

I know this disease is caused by many different things. So not many cases are the same. Well, I believe mine started because I did not drink a lot of water and my skin was dried out. I took hot showers, Always had my heater on during the winter and I didn't drink enough water. On top of all that, I got the stomach flu which dehydrates you if you're not careful. So it just pushed my body over the edge and it came out as dermographia. And here I am about a year later, with my dermographia almost completely gone. The only thing I need to say: not antihistamines/allergy medicines whatsoever (It only makes your case worse). More water, moisturizing, cool showers, and most importantly Vitamin D! Buy the Vitamin D in liquid form. You can get it at Vitamin World.

anon356522
Post 188

Commenter 157 asked if there was anyone who had this condition and then had it go away - that's my experience. My dermographia started in high school and continued for about 20 years, getting worse during pregnancy, until I took gluten and dairy out of my diet for other reasons. I haven't had it happen since, which has been an unexpected but very welcome side effect.

anon351827
Post 187

I have another comment. I posted here about six months ago when my dermographia first popped up after a stomach flu. I just wanted to give an update on what I have been doing since then.

I decided to not take any sort of antihistamines or pills because I figured that your body will become more dependent on this pill and you'll need to increase your doses. I have not taken any for about four or five months.

I began to drink a ton of water and take cooler showers instead of really hot showers, which I used to do before my dermographia came along.

I also began taking multivitamins, as well as Vitamin D in the liquid form. It supports immune health and dermographia is an autoimmune disorder.

I have seen a huge improvement from when I first starting experiencing all the welts and itching.

When it first showed up, I would itch like crazy all day, all over my entire back, my arms and legs. The slightest touch would cause red welts to pop up! There was also intense itching and even heat.

After making a few changes, my symptoms have calmed down a lot. I don't go crazy at night scratching my entire body like I did before. I am no longer as itchy or hot and not everything will make red welts to pop up. I am very happy with the improvements!

Everyone should starting taking vitamins, especially Vitamin D to strengthen your immune systems! Hope information helps some of you. Again, best of luck guys.

anon344631
Post 186

I have dermographia and I've had it since I was a child. I'm 21 now and I just get used to it. I have seen someone for my allergies and yes they scratched the surface of my skin instead of doing blood test which showed I was allergic to a lot of things. I kind of hope someone sheds the light on this and it can get cured.

gooooo
Post 185

In these comments, I read that someone noticed he first got this after his stomach flu. I noticed it after I was sick at my stomach from eating nothing the whole day until midnight and then I just ate nothing but chocolate. It was junior mints a fastbreak -- and some honey twist Fritos chips.

I recommend not taking pills and just do research and find a natural way because pills are just going to make things worse. Read the comments and you'll see what I mean. I noticed a couple of months after I got sick I noticed I had this condition, and I'm barely 18. There's a cure and/or treatment for anything. I believe that any sickness, condition, etc., that we ramble up on earth, I'm pretty sure that earth can cover it and I'm saying this through my experience.

anon334109
Post 184

I too have dermographia (anyone else find it amusing that this condition is so little known the computer thinks it's a spelling error).I've had it since my 20s when it was just red marks on my skin, but now at 32 it is going crazy and so am I.

Mine intensified literally the day after my son was born and I had a tubal ligation. Stress was definitely a factor. Now I live every day trying not to scratch my itches because it will spread. Don't even think of wearing strappy heels; you will regret it for days with the welts everywhere and I get angioedema on my feet. Currently, I am trying quercetin and bromelain supplements (natural antihistamines) and vitamin c supplements to strengthen the mast cells. Hopefully, this will work and I can one day wear pretty shoes again.

anon333808
Post 183

I've had this condition for years and it's never bothered me as long as I'm taking an antihistamine. However, I cannot go for more than maybe 28 hours without taking one or I break out in small hives and the red rash takes over anywhere I touch or slightly itch my skin. I've learned to live with it. I often get people asking me "What happened to you!?" and I just tell them that it's no big deal, or I joke that I'm allergic to myself! I've tried allergy shots for the other things I'm allergic to and they did absolutely nothing to help me, so for now I just take my Zyrtec or knock-off pill daily and deal with it.

anon333022
Post 182

I have had this condition for 20 years constantly, 24/7! One word of relief: Cytrezine. It's the active ingredient in Zyrtec. One a day keeps the hives and burning away for 24 hours. Hope this helps.

anon332548
Post 181

Gluten and sea salt. I got rid of these and now live a good life again. Thank you internet!

anon330346
Post 180

I'm 18 and I've had this dermographia skin thing for a maybe a week now. Some days it's worse than others and I don't think I've got it that bad. The welts mostly show up on my thighs, arms, upper back and my chest and neck. It's easy for me to resist scratching but really I go crazy sometimes and I have to scratch. It makes me sad! But I mean, I guess I can deal with it. I just wish there were some easy cure.

Anyway, if it helps anyone out, my symptoms started up after I had the stomach flu, so I think that might have triggered something in my immune system. I also didn't drink a lot of water and my skin was pretty dry before. So that might have something to do with it, too.

I've tried new soaps and lotions, and Vaseline total moisture helps me a bit. I've taken like one Benadryl pill but I don't want to take anymore until I go to see a dermatologist.

I guess I'll never wear short sleeve shirts or shorts ever again!

If any fellow dermographia sufferers discover some miracle cure or something, please let me know. Best of luck, guys.

anon330128
Post 179

So I just googled this and discovered this may be what I have. I was reading and felt this burning sensation on my arm and there was a single curved line. I would normally scratch when I feel this but I resisted the temptation. Lo and behold, about ten more appeared. Fifteen minutes later, they swell and gel into each other without me scratching and they are now slowly going away.

I write this because I always thought that scratching created he welts, but I now discover that you don't need to scratch for additional welts to appear, but I think if I did scratch it would most likely be worse.

I have had this on and off for a number of years but it just happens more often now. I just hate it when things happen in your body without explanation or triggers. I have been tracking what I eat but can't seem to figure it out. I plan to do a cleanse for 10 days and see if this will flush out whatever is going on in my body. Will let you know!

anon329938
Post 178

I'm 28 and I first experienced this when I had my first baby and when she stopped breastfeeding, it started until I got pregnant again. Only he breastfed longer. Now he doesn't anymore and it is starting again so it's a pattern!

anon321671
Post 177

I've been suffering from this Dermographia since I was little and now I'm 36 and I still have it. I've been taking Zyxal for almost four years now and I tried a lot of allergy medicine only Zyxal works for me. I just hope and pray that someday I can stop taking pills!

anon309595
Post 176

I am 15 and I've had the symptoms of Dermographia for a while, but didn't know it was anything serious, and passed it off for a while because I have such a slight case that it only happens when I get scratched at a certain depth and only happens every once in a while.

I wouldn't have known there was even a name for it, except for the fact that I was assigned to research Dermographia for a biology assignment, and figured that it was what I had, by accident.

anon285862
Post 175

This just started happening about two weeks ago. I thought it was a scratch when I rubbed against a door, and then it came back. Is it the cat or dog? I was itching everywhere, then I decided to look online under the symptoms for "Demographia." What is that? Can this be related to stress? How do you just get it after not ever having it? Can it progress? Is it associated with menopause, or certain food?

I'm just glad I know what this is, and feel sorry for the ones who've had it for years. I've got to go. I'm starting to itch!

anon282255
Post 174

Dermatographic urticaria does not come from your father or your mother's DNA. It is unknown.

anon282253
Post 173

My Dermographia does not cause many side effects.

I first developed dermographia when I was 18. Now I'm 22 and still have no side effects except feeling heat on the scratched place. Ten minutes later, it is gone.

It affects my whole body that my skin becomes red and feels hot, does not cause any other effects.

anon282208
Post 172

It started out of nowhere. One day, I just started itching so I scratched. A couple of days later, welts started appearing. I take two different over the counter allergy meds, but they only help with the itchy part. Every time I scratch or rub against something, a hive-like rash would appear. I can write anything on my body and it would appear two to five minutes later where I had scratched. If I have to live with this every day, it would suck, but things could be worse. Hopefully it goes away though.

anon280753
Post 171

I'm disappointed by how the articles on the web about this condition downplay it. Every time I am bitten by a bug or scratched by a twig, the skin swells then dies and I am left with an ulcer. I have been hospitalized for those lesions which have become strep or staph infected.

The scarring left by any insult to the skin whatsoever has influenced my lifestyle. If the web info were accurate, these welts could be expected to go away in minutes. But a wound care center has been tending to what began as a pimple for over two years now. But the diagnosis is indeed "severe dermatographia". Is any other reader experiencing a progressive worsening of affected areas in the days and weeks that follow a scratch? -Michele

anon273644
Post 170

I started having these issues early in high school, mostly when I got out of the shower (it's better when I shave my legs - the coarse hair really seems to bother my skin). The itching can be so bad I feel like jumping out of my skin! It's worst on my legs and arms and occasionally my chest.

I went to doctor after doctor and none of them had an answer. Finally, I went to an allergist, he scratched my skin with a tongue depressor and we had the answer in a few minutes! I couldn't believe it took so long! It's gotten more bearable over the years, and it's so nice to know there are others out there. It's made me feel like such a weirdo. Knowing there are other people out there with the same problem makes me feel so much better about it.

anon270003
Post 169

@anon243936: Walking in the meadow and getting what you got might have been caused by microscopic grass cuts.

anon264449
Post 168

I've had this since I was four or maybe even younger, but I didn't know about it. I think it bothered me more when I was a kid.

Now, I don't think about it much, but my skin does get red when there is pressure put on it, but the welts don't stand out as much anymore, unless I purposely and sharply scratch my skin. I've never met anyone else with this and I thought that something was wrong with me, but I guess not. A dermatologist told me I had this when I was 16. When I was a child, general family doctors didn't know what I had.

anon248515
Post 167

My daughter is just over two years old, and she has many allergies, that we control with Zyrtec once a day and Benadryl as needed, and if really out of control, a steroid with it, and worst case, an Epi-pen.

We keep everything she is allergic to out of the house, but just about 15 minutes ago, I saw above her knee a line of about 10 small tiny hives the same size about an inch long, and another exact line a little above it, and the same exact one on the top of her hand. What in the heck is this? She is constantly itching everywhere because she has horrible eczema that is hard to tame, but she doesn't have these lines anywhere else. Help?

anon243936
Post 166

I believe that I have this condition. I am not normally allergic to anything, but a few years ago I was walking across a grass meadow and the bottom half of my legs came up in red blotches; this was not itchy at all and went away after a few days. I have quite often experienced an overwhelming itching at night, but have not had before the redness and welts that I am having following scratching.

I will inform my doctor, but it doesn't sound like there is an instant fix for this, so hopefully it will eventually go away. I do get a tingling sensation and a warm feeling in the back of my neck at times. I don't think that my symptoms are the worst by any means. The trick, if you can do it, is to ignore the itch (if you can).

anon239517
Post 165

Has anyone noticed a pattern with Dermagraphia and gluten intolerance? Celiacs? Salicylate intolerance?

Intense itching on the palms and soles, pain in the hands and feet and a swelling feeling, with or without tingling and numbness? It feels like it comes from under the skin.

Sometimes the skin on my fingertips and palms will look blotchy underneath and they will feel swollen or tight.

Even carrying the grocery bags or tying my shoes hurts, and especially opening soda bottles.

I believe it is a mast cell issue and fits the description of mastcytosis.

anon236755
Post 163

Oh I am so glad I found this. Sounds like what I have. The itch is awful, then the sores are painful. My scalp is full of sores, and my back, bottom, arms, hands, legs, feet and my eyes itch, as well as my face. I want to scratch so bad.

The doctor couldn't find anything wrong when he drew blood and last week he did a biopsy on one of the sores on my back and sent it to the pathology lab to try to get an answer.

I take 50 mg of Benadryl every four hours, and Vistaril 50mg three times a day, with no relief. It's worse at night and when I first wake up. Please post if you figure out something that will help. God bless you.

tomonecat
Post 162

There is hope! I had demographia for nearly two years. It just popped up out of the blue. One day I was fine, the next I had it.

My symptoms included itchy skin and when it was scratched goes red and the marks lasted for about a hour. I was taking antihistamines every day but stopped taking them about four months ago and just put up with the itching and tried to ignore it and get on with my life.

The itching subsided after a few weeks and I noticed that I was not getting prolonged red marks and itching after scratching my skin, it's gone! I can now wear my watch and rings which before, I could not.

anon234381
Post 161

My name is Jayme and I am a proud sufferer of Dermographia. I diagnosed myself last week. I tested it by simply writing "hi" on my arm, sure enough my skin said "hi" back.

anon232464
Post 160

I'm glad I'm not the only one with these kinds of symptoms. I never knew the name of it until today.

It really sucks to have these symptoms. I always have to be extra careful when I'm in public because any light touch gets my skin red and brings up a welt. Does anyone's itch spread and last a very long time when you gently scratch your body by accident?

anon230321
Post 159

I've had this since I was about 16 and I'm now 27. It's gotten better through the years. I used to not even be able to rub my eyes without fear of them swelling up. For me, I've noticed that when my skin is cold, I'll get a stronger reaction.

Five years ago I moved to California from Alaska and coincidentally, my condition has greatly improved since then. I still get raised, itchy lines but they are for the most part, not that bad.

I have noticed since I'm pregnant with my second child that it has been acting up a little more. I figure because my immune system is weakened or something like that. I don't have other allergies that I know of. Just my freakish swelling skin.

anon230304
Post 158

I have dermographia for fives years now. I first noticed it after popping a zit during my sophomore year of high school. The area was swollen but went away completely after about three hours. By my junior year, the slightest touch or scrape to my body caused a reaction.

To this day I still have dermographia. It's terrible. Anything sets it off. My clothes set it off from the slightest rub from my shirt to me lightly scratching my arm. It has never gone away. I have tried everything: removing certain foods, moving away from my old house, not being around my cat, changing soaps... etc. I still have dermographia and I think I always will. I think it is something genetic. Maybe a mutation.

The only thing that helps alleviate it is an antihistamine (but I really don't want to take one every single day.) Sometimes ice baths do the trick if its really bad. I'm sorry for anyone else who experiences this condition.

anon230051
Post 157

I've read the majority of these comments and have not seen one saying 'I had Dermographia but it is gone'. I'm beginning to believe once you develop the condition it's with you for life. I have a question for the people taking anti-histamines.

Do the hives still appear if you scratch yourself while on the medication?

Anyway, I recently developed this condition (self diagnosed) my legs itch the most but they do not seem to wealth maybe under the hair but its hard to see. I'm a smoker and I drink a lot of coca cola. Nothing new there. I've been smoking for years and drinking coke since I can remember. I will stop drinking coke and cut back on the smokes and keep you guys posted to see if there is any change.

I also find a cold showers help with the itching and air drying after is key because the towel will irritate the skin.

anon228524
Post 156

I developed a version of dermographia this year (skin often very pink and comes up with white marks when scratched). At the same time,I started getting solar hives (in direct sun, skin gets very very red then comes up in hives so itchy amputation seems a rational choice). Then my skin started reacting to direct cold (egg carrying a bottle of milk resting on my forearm caused a weird red patch top appear) and heat (hot shower, the pool).

Underlying cause: mastocytosis - too many mast cells. This also explains the IBS, reflux, and interstitial cystitis symptoms I've suffered with for years. Seems that mast cells degranulate (release histamine in the skin, the gut, bladder and other places) in response to triggers which could be temperature, pressure, emotional stress, and food esp food with high histamine levels (eg red wine, avocados).

There is no cure since mastocytosis is a genetic mutation of the mast cells, but the treatment is Zyrtec/Allegra (H1 antihistamine)and Fexofenadine (zantac)a H2 antihistamine in very strong doses each day. The only way to know if this is the cause of your dermographia is to see a specialist immunologist who will do specialist blood tests and possibly a bone biopsy. Normal allergy tests won't help.

It seems that mastocytosis is very rare but can develop in mid life (30 - 50 years of age). It can lead to leukemia in extremely rare cases but is mostly just a very annoying and even possibly debilitating condition (due to muscle pain, IBS and so on) which has no cure, only treatment of symptoms. Seems that prognosis is good. Worth getting bones checked out, tho, as it can easily lead to osteoporosis.

So for anyone with strange symptoms and no past history of allergies, it is worth considering getting this checked out.

anon224320
Post 155

Has anyone tried coconut oil for this condition?

anon222477
Post 154

My issues started after moving into a house about 2 years ago. I have since moved three times. When I advised my doctor of my symptoms (swollen skin in large sections, all over my body, itches like crazy and is hot to the touch), she told me I had Dermographia. I asked her what I could do about it because there are times when it will drive me crazy and she told me to take Zyrtec and deal with it. Now the Zyrtec helps with the itchiness but not much else. Oh, and around the same time as the other symptoms came horrible chest pain when ever I eat, and difficulty swallowing.

I myself have tried the gluten free diet but couldn't last a whole month. I may give it another try here soon. I have to work up to it since I love pasta. But I guess if it relieves the issues it may be worth it.

anon218560
Post 153

I have had it for about a year. I am 36, and a white male. My back, belly, arms, backside, thighs and scalp are the worst. Once the itch gets going, it is like waves of itchiness all over. I tried lotion after a shower once, and oops, worst itch ever. Sweat seems to make it worse also, which perhaps is why many here have said "heat" makes it worse? It could just be the sweat.

I have had my "underwear area" itch so bad at times I could go insane. But in hindsight, it is usually at the end of the day, when perhaps I was more sweaty? Castration would almost be better than that kind of itch. Before bed is the worst. I will lie down at 10 p.m. to go to bed and my back will itch like crazy for 10 minutes straight. The itch moves around my body for another 10 minutes and then mostly subsides, but I am left a red, welty mess.

The stress theory is interesting. I have been under more stress the past year. But sometimes I am under no stress and it happens anyway, so perhaps stress "sets it off"?

Doing a low carb diet with no wheat/no sugar recently and things have improved. (don't know if it correlates though).

I live in Minnesota, and things improved in warmer weather. The skin recovers slower from scratching in winter, lotion helped more in winter. But for me, not in summer.

The best way I have found to deal with it is to just resist scratching, if possible. The times I can resist getting the whole itching cycle going, the better off I am. Also, when you feel the "tingle" and you know you are going histamine nuclear, rubbing, instead of scratching the worst of the itchy spots helps. If you feel a really bad one on your arm, instead of digging in with your nail for a satisfying scratch, just rub it with your finger lightly to defuse it. For me, this helps to not get the snowball rolling on the tingle > itch > scratch > welt > more itchy > more scratching > even more itching all over the body, etc.

Nipping it in the bud by not scratching and/or just lightly rubbing is the best way I have found to deal with it. My skin does not get welted by a light rub, and sometimes that is enough to satisfy the itch.

Also I do drink lots of alcohol and caffeine. But I will itch myself to death before I give those up, so bring on the suggestions. I also have never itched after about three beers/drinks. I probably just forget to itch.

As a Catholic, I also like to offer up the suffering and say a few Hail Marys while I itch. Might as well spend my itching session growing spiritually. Good luck to you all.

anon212907
Post 151

I have been living with this for 16 years! It is very annoying and definitely affects my everyday life. It started when I first became pregnant. We (My family and I) try to find humor in it (playing the guessing games what are they writing on my back. They can't lie because the answer will be there for a while) but anyone living with this knows it's not fun.

It can be frustrating when you hug your family and you have welts left on arms and face you itch constantly for hours after. I was once asked if I had head lice because I was scratching my head for an hour straight. I felt I had to explain myself and when they asked what It felt like I told them the only way to really explain it is as if I can feel my hair growing.

I always have to warn the person who waxes my eyebrows to not freak out when my eyes swell (has happened too many times) Needless to say, the only thing that has worked is to always stay with the same laundry detergent, lotions, bath soaps and wash all clothes before wearing, never trying on clothes, and the only medication that helps a bit (not completely) is Atarax daily but can only be taken at night. So if I miss one pill, I am miserable until the next night.

anon208444
Post 150

I am Neetu. My age is 24 years old. I have had a skin problem since I was about 18 years old. When I scratch my skin, I get a dark spot. I have taken medicines from many doctors, but no results.

I am fed up with my itchy skin. Please tell me what is the solution for my itchy skin. Please reply fast.

AndiPandi
Post 149

I have this and I have severe allergies on top of this. Including itchy watery eyes, sneezing and sensitivities to many things such as pollens, dander, dust mites, smoke, garlic, and more. This article states, "Despite this belief, several patients afflicted with dermographia have no other symptoms of allergy." I disagree with this statement because I personally suffer from multiple allergies on a daily basis on top of the skin reaction of red streaks, itchiness, and raised skin.

anon204146
Post 148

Today is the eight day of me feeling randomly itchy all over my body, on the palms of feet and hands and even between the webs of my right hand for a good five straight hours yesterday, like what?

I can't explain it. It's a tingling, burning, itching sensation, happens randomly wherever, then when I itch it turns red and swells and raises skin. I took benadryl for two days, and am going to the doctor again for a blood test. I've been reading people's posts of them having this for years. I can't even imagine living like this. I just want to be normal again.

anon195096
Post 147

Yesterday I was outside and ended up walking through a patch of lilies in our yard. the next day I wake up and have the lines that itch wherever I scratch? could this be Dermagraphilia? I'm 15 and don't think I'm allergic to anything, really.

anon192351
Post 146

I read online that this was a celiac symtom and it went away after a month of gluten-free diet.

anon192337
Post 145

I've just started suffering from these symptoms recently.

My doctor had me take Claritin with Zyrtec, and it works (mostly) but it caused stomach pains so I'm trying to avoid it now. I have also been using coconut oil to moisturize, and it works less well but helps somewhat.

Some other things that might help: feel free to research for yourself to see if these apply to you. My thyroid test showed up high (hypothyroidism) on the day after these symptoms appear. My cortisol test also showed up high (adrenal system issues); this happens when a person is under stress.

My vitamin D level was low on a blood test three weeks prior, and I was taking a high dose of vitamin D2 prior to the symptoms. My white blood cells were also somewhat low three weeks prior. Both my mother and I have rosacea and my sister suffers from Vitamin D deficiency and an autoimmune disease that affects her platelets.

Since my tests, I started a gluten free, casein free, low oxalate diet in case some of my symptoms were related to celiac disease or Hashimoto's thyroiditis (an autoimmune thyroid disease). It doesn't seem to be helping yet, but it may take time. It can take six months for gluten damage to be repaired. Some sources say coffee and casein/dairy can cause a similar sensitivity as gluten, and its related or causes autoimmune disorders.

I noticed that it's worse when I eat sugar. I am going to test whether avoiding sugar might help. I've seen some sources that suggest Candida might be the cause (Candida is also related to rosacea), and sugar feeds Candida.

Since a lot of people report that stress makes this worse, perhaps you might look further into adrenals/cortisol?

You might also want to check out thyroid symptoms to see if they apply to you. I was surprised to find out that I'd had many of the symptoms but didn't think to report them (depression is one of them).

anon188659
Post 144

i feel for anyone who has this! it's horrible! every time i touch my penis it turns liney and gets itchy and bumpy. It stinks!

anon179796
Post 143

I too have this distressing condition, and my sympathy goes out to every unfortunate person who has it. I wondered if any person has experienced breathing difficulties because of the dermographia. My doctor tells me the dermographia has given me asthma. I am taking antihistamines as well as puffing on my inhalers.

anon177150
Post 142

I unfortunately know this disease very well. I went to the doctor two years ago and found out I have it, out of the blue. He says take these meds and it will be good. Not! I am on three atarax pills three times a day, zyrtec, zantac, clarinex, and a steroid ointment in case the itchiness gets too bad.

After finally going to see an allergist, he informs me he has never seen anyone's levels as high as mine. ,This is an awful thing to have. It definitely compromises my daily activities. I feel for anyone who has it.

anon177107
Post 141

Sounds like dermographia is serious. In my opinion, using medicine in this case is not the best solution as many of you believe. The best cure may be visiting natural springs and/or geysers. There are many natural springs in Mongolia that are proved to cure all sorts of skin allergies and eczema.

I'm not really sure of dermographia, but probably they will cure it. I've had more severe skin issues than eczema, and now I'm 95 percent cured. Some natural springs are for internal use (drinking) and some for bathing in. Approximately 7-14 days will show progress. A continuous three years of therapy will cure it 100 percent. You just need to find which natural spring is the best for your skin case as there are so many all around the world.

In the mongolian case, the ministry of health and medical authorities recommend natural springs rather than modern medicine. Hope this comment would give you an alternative idea to get rid of skin problem, which is hell. Only people who had or have skin problems understand the stress it can give.

anon175591
Post 140

I know this condition well. I started itching and having the irritated skin condition one day when I was about 14. I'm 23 now, 9 years of dealing with it. It is super annoying. I went to the dermatologist at first and they gave me a anti-histamine which worked well. Now i just usually buy over the counter anti-histamines. I have to take one about every other day and itching is minimal to hardly at all.

I honestly would love for it to go away. I have tried blood work to no avail. I have tried diets that are supposed to lower the intake of certain things that may cause it to flare up, again to no avail. I noticed when i get super hot i seem to itch more so than when I'm in a cool environment. I have no idea if that's related or maybe I didn't take medicine that day and i just associated it with that.

If anyone has tried anything with any luck at all other than antihistamines, please share it. It's a little exasperating to take anti-histamines all the time and be drowsy and groggy when i wake up. Plus I care about my health and don't know if taking antihistamines over a long period of time could cause problems with organs or anything like that. I know how it feels guys, its sucks.

anon174962
Post 139

I am 16. I recently started getting red lines or bumps from doing just about anything if it touches my skin. Even putting my hands in my pocket or simply hugging a friend will make my skin red. To prevent this, I suggest wearing long clothing and gentle physical contact if not using palms of your hands or the bottoms of your feet.

anon172877
Post 138

I am 15. People bully me because my skin swells. It turns red often and is embarrassing but I live with it. I also have allergies so maybe they're related .

anon171823
Post 137

i know this doesn't help but i wanna tell a story. ok so i was warming up for my soccer game and so i start shooting the ball. as i went to get the ball i turned around and there was a ball right in my face. it hit about the right side of my face but it really hurt. i laid there for a while being dizzy and naturally my face started to swell because of dermographia. i couldn't even play that day because it hit me so hard my eye was swollen shut it lasted until the next day before it was completely black to normal. it hurt. my doctor said i would grow out of it but I've had it since i was born and I'm 14 and it gone away! hope it goes away soon.

anon171166
Post 136

Dermographia. I have had it for years and have seen too many doctors to count and no answers until this one. Finally, I got my answer, but it didn't help much except to put a label on it. Grrr. Tingling is the very start if you can tune into it. I sure do. I have a very severe case of it. Don't bother going for allergy tests, and all that expense. If you can draw a line on your skin that turns fire red and a 3D raised welt (hive) and you have the worst itching you have ever had and you think you're going to go crazy with scratching (which makes it worse.), then it's dermographia. I also get it on the palms of my hands and soles of my feet and I have had it three times now in my throat. This is me. Anaphylactic shock, I believe it's called. Get to a hospital right away, because you will stop breathing.

I can't help scratching so badly that I have severe bruises all over me like someone beat me up, or I was mauled by a bear. I also get the blisters that are dry in the center that look like ringworm but are not. They heal very slowly and can leave red scars on your skin, depending on how much you are scratching. The doctors call those ulcers of the skin. It comes and goes.

I have been under a very, very stressful past two years and it's coming to a head right now and I am at my worst right now. Do not use any heat when your like this. Only cool packs from the freezer will help the itch and make sure you have your complete thyroid panel done as I have Hashimoto's Disease and it is an auto-immune disease that can cause extremely dry skin.

The best remedy I have found is first shower or bath, pat dry even if you want to take the towel and rub like hell. Don't. Pat dry and rub in a small amount of AquaPhor by Eucerin Healing Ointment. It will help the dryness. You have to do it every day. Carry cool baby wipes with you in your purse so you can put a cool towel on you if you're out and hit with an attack.

Important: I am allergic to latex, elastic in clothes, wool and chenille throws or sweaters. Acrylics are chenille, and I am allergic to molds and spores where I live in Houston TX and dust. I get an instant reaction. I have TMJ, and a bite plate for sleeping. Don't get any dentures or crowns made with acrylic. Get the other polymers they have because this problem is becoming more and more common out there.

If you have an attack, wear something loose made of cotton like, linen or gauze clothing until it passes. I see that many are having help with Xyzal, and I am going to try it. I was only on Zyrtec and now it's OTC and too expensive. Or you can go to your pharmacy and ask if they can order you a large bottle of the generic at a fraction of the cost. All they are going to do at the hospital is give you Benadryl and Xanax. This is your body on histamine overload.

Stay cool and not over heated. I wear nothing but cotton clothing. I make sure my garments with elastic are covered. And I am still having a seasonal severe attack right now. It is spring here in Houston and we are moving so there is dust everywhere while cleaning. Wear a mask while cleaning and vinyl gloves for all cleaning. You may not have all what I have mentioned but I do.

If you can't get out of a humid area by moving, get a dehumidifier for your apt or home. Profuse sweating will bring it on as well.

I hope this helps some of you. I have been doing this research for over 30 years and used to be a nurse. Be patient and be your own advocate in helping yourself by trying these things as most doctors do not understand this problem. I have lived with it severely so I have studied everything I can on it. If this helps one person, my writing this will be worth it. I have tried everything on the market for this. I am so severe I scratch until I am bleeding. And it just makes my nervous condition much worse as many of you understand who have it.

We need to help each other. I am so sorry you suffer with this because it is horrible. Brye or Bree Have an itch-free day.

anon169443
Post 135

A few months ago I started itching. I noticed red bumps on my wrist and arm. I figured it was a reaction to detergent or spring allergies. Days passed and I noticed puffy lines where I scratch. Initially I would itch on my arms and torso, but then it moved to my legs, neck and now my scalp. After a month of bewilderment, I went to a dermatologist who said that I have dermographia. He took blood and my results were normal. He wants to see me again to find the cause of the problem, but after reading these posts, I think it would be a waste of time.

I was prescribed Allegra, but I won't take it unless absolutely needed. I'm 34, hispanic male, light skin. I started getting mild allergies at age 31 so I know my body is changing. I started putting lotion on after my showers, which seems to help. It is April now and my itching has calmed down. Best wishes to all my fellow DermoGraphians. Jason

anon169325
Post 134

For some of you, those not acute, it's got something to do with mold spores. If you've had any sign of mold in your house, get rid of it, or better still, move. Wash all your bedding and clothes.

anon169284
Post 133

I take Zyrtec and it works, but I hate taking it every day. I randomly started getting this the day I got back from Cabot a year ago. If i don't take my Zyrtec, sometimes my legs will get so itchy that I have to leave class to go to the bathroom so I can take my pants off to itch them.

This is a crazy and terrible skin problem. It makes me feel unattractive when I'm walking around with welts on my skin. I joke about it, but it's not funny. I'm sorry to all of us who have to deal with it.

anon168892
Post 132

I am a 37 year old female and I started experiencing this condition three months ago. Mine would happen at night and I thought it was related to cold weather. It has since gotten worse and currently I can even scratch on my way to work or in a restaurant.

I initially thought it was protein allergy but I think caffeine may be related because coffee was the first thing I took when I got to the house at night. My problem is for how long do I take tablets to ease the irritation?

anon165057
Post 131

One day out of the blue I started itching like crazy when I scratched or hit a part of my body. I went to an allergist and he told me it was dermographia. He said it can be brought on by stress and/or an illness. That was when I was about 29, I am 35 now. I take Zyrtec every day (or the off brand, both work wonders) and I still get the red makrs but it keeps the itching under control. If I forget to take my Zyrtec, within hours I remember!

It really stinks to have to deal with this. But I did read on a post that it could be caused by caffeine. I am a real big Dr. Pepper fan, so maybe I will have to try going without to see if it helps. itching or no Dr. Pepper: hard choice!

anon163219
Post 130

i thought that i was the only one with this condition but now i learned that I'm not the only person who has this condition.

anon161137
Post 129

I am 21. I identified this problem with from age 8, and it has become worse sine I was 14.

Whenever my friends pinch my cheeks, play with some small beats, or even if i dash with some things like walls my skin will swell up.

sometimes, i draw something or write something on my hands. It will swell up and looks nice.

Some times my friends will play with me by pinching me. At those times i will get angry and hit them.

I don't know whether there is a good treatment for this problem. My doctor suggested a treatment, but I am afraid to take it. I am fearing whether it would cause some side effects and this problem would grow worse.

so, please suggest natural treatments for this problem.

anon159956
Post 128

I too suffer from dermographia. I first noticed it in my mid 40's and was told by a doctor that it was a histamine disorder, no cure for it, just a treatment of antihistamines. Every little bump or scratch will leave a blood filled welt and that's when I have mild itching.

Recently though, I spoke to a doctor friend who says it's from too much caffeine and that makes sense because I do love to drink my coffee. I do not take any medicine for it, I just endure. He said there was a correlation between serotonin and caffeine. This also makes me wonder because I am also on antidepressants which have an effect on serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Still more research to do. Good luck everyone.

anon158976
Post 127

I've had this for a year now and it's sad to see many of you have had it for years. I wake up bleeding from scratching in my sleep if I don't keep up on my medicine. Just resting my arm on the table causes it to flare up. When it does, I want to scratch my skin off. Breakouts make me stressed because I don't know how long I'm going to be able to hold off itching and how long it's going to last.

To the other commenters....

I also think coffee increases the severity of my outbreaks.

I had a cold recently also and noticed my throat and cough was worse so I'm also left questioning if the lining of your throat can be affected by this.

To the child above whose parents wont let him/her take daily meds. I would listen to their concerns depending on the meds however it's important you let your parents understand your level of discomfort. To itch as badly as others and I do when there are meds out there is crazy.

I understand the concerns of others wondering if they could catch it from us. However ,people making you feel bad because of it shows what type of a person they are. The itch and marks will come and go away but more than likely they will always be a crummy person.

Here's hoping were all itch free.

anon158473
Post 126

Boy am I glad to be dark skinned because if I weren't I'd be one messed up chick. I've had this every since I walked into a spider web and blanked out when I was a kid about 4 years old. No one knew what it was. I used to take the oil baths and slather vaseline on me twice a day. Sulfur hair products didn't even work. Thank God for Nizoral.

Then I took my first allergy test in my thirties and discovered that I was allergic to mold, mites, mildew and cockroaches. For the past 10 years I have been on Allegra every day like an addict. I hate that, but it helps. I am currently trying to convince my doctor that a retest will only prove the same thing. My new doctor, that is. I've had eight so far. However, because she told me that I have a severe case of dermographia, which I never heard of before she mentioned it, I'll give her a chance to help me. LoL!

However, I just want my allegra every day and my shot every month. I'm used to it. I just hope I don't ever get caught in a natural disaster without my meds. I'd probably be dead from the symptoms of dermographia/allergies instead of the natural disaster.

anon157392
Post 125

I am 18 years old and have had this condition ever since I can remember. When I scratch my skin even lightly, my skin will get red and rise up like a welt, although it never itches.

It has freaked out my friends before, but after I tell them it doesn't hurt at all, they like to have fun with me, like scratching their name on my leg or something so that it shows up red. It's really not that bad at all, just kind of annoying sometimes.

anon156081
Post 124

I am 14 years old and I have this problem. I have had it for 7 years now. It all started when i went on a trip and out of nowhere got welts covering my entire body. Ever since, i get welts whenever i scratch myself or get hit by things. I hate it because people always make fun of it.

I just went to a doctor and he recommended two claritins a day. I want to take it badly but my parents don't want me taking that many pills. So I'm hoping it will just go away some day

anon153129
Post 123

I found out that dermographia may be caused by an autoimmune disorder, which one, who knows and each person is different. I got my symptoms and went from very healthy to having this crappy illness within a couple of weeks. I was 30 years old at the time and now I am 43.

Something caused it, but who knows what and the only way to really find out is to have a barrage of testing that costs hundreds to thousands of dollars that may not even work! I do have my medication down to a science now. I take hydroxyzine hcl 25mg. This drug is very inexpensive and it works better than benadryl, claritin, etc. The drawback is that it makes me very sleepy and so I have it down to where I take 1/2 of a pill a couple of hours before bedtime and it lasts throughout the next day. --J

anon152960
Post 122

I read all of the letters and am glad I am not alone. I am 61, have rosacea, atopic dermatitis and very dry skin (genetic). Figured this latest affliction was some sort of contact dermatitis. Anything, such as the seams of clothes, or my own hair touching my skin makes me itch.

I am currently taking allegra, but have noticed when itching is extreme, the sensation is almost an internal tingling. I figure it is an allergy to something or perhaps a number of somethings. I would not know what to eliminate from my diet of environment, but it does help to stay with cotton, silk, etc. and make sure that all soaps and detergents are rinsed well, from my clothing.

Hypoallergenic lotions do help if I am able to apply them before I start scratching. I do not want to use any kind of oral or topical steroids -- too many side effects.

Have not noticed that cold or hot water stops the itch- have to use a very mild soap for the shower.

anon151637
Post 121

I am 15 and I've had this since i was born and my dad had it. I had blood tests done and nothing ever shows up positive and claritin and benadryl don't seem to work anymore.

I get reactions every single day and it lasts for hours and spreads even when i refrain from scratching and itching. When i get the reactions, my stress levels increase dramatically and my throat starts to close up and i cant breathe. Lately, it has also been making me sick to my stomach and get painful headaches. I would like to know why this is all happening to me. -Erin

anon150770
Post 120

I have dermographia and I take over the counter non-drowsy claritin whenever I get itchy and after it kicks in the itching goes away. I do have to take it almost every day though, which gets expensive, but it's a heck of a lot better than benadryl, which also works but puts me to sleep.

It's also a heck of a lot better than going crazy from being uncontrollably itchy all over my body for absolutely no apparent reason. This is a really stupid and annoying disease.

anon149360
Post 119

I am 47 and have had this since I was born. I still have it. Never knew what it was. No other problems or allergies. When I scratch one place, the itching will actually go further and further until my whole back or belly or wherever is covered in red lines and welts. --Maggie, 47

anon147910
Post 118

I have also experienced this rash and until now had no idea what it was. I get it at night especially, when I first go to bed, shocking welting after scratching. The itch travels around my body, moving to a different place quite rapidly. My belly, back, buttocks inner thigh are the worst places.

It just started about two years ago when I was highly stressed and I really hope it will eventually just disappear because it drives me up the wall some nights. My doctor suggested antihistamines but I don't like the idea of taking them every day.

anon147571
Post 117

I've had this for 13 years, I'm 13. I need to know if this can go away.

anon144492
Post 116

I was diagnosed about a year ago. I went to the hospital thinking I was having some kind of allergic reaction after using a back scratcher. when I finally got checked out the lines and welts shocked me. I now suffer from a chronic case of Dermographia, which is horrible enough to keep me from sleeping at nights if I get the smallest itch somewhere on my body. I feel so happy to know now that I am not the only one with this horrible disease and that there are ways of actually reducing the horrible itching.

mar2000
Post 115

Thanks so much for your post on Dermographia. I really thought my husband's condition was very serious, but now that I know what's wrong with him i feel much better. he can now come back to bed. (smile)

anon141969
Post 114

I've had dermographia for the last three years. I find that when I scratch my back then put no itch cream on it it feels just fine!

anon137832
Post 113

Yep, Chronic Demographia. I have it too. I developed this about a year ago (I'm 28 yrs old). Cocoa Butter used to help a ton but has recently stopped working to remedy the severe itching and welting. The itching has been so bad at times and covering so much of my body that i thought i would have to go to the hospital. Now i take Allegra D daily to combat the issue.

I have no clue what caused this. But it seems like it's here to stay. Hot showers can calm down the hives as well. Good luck to all and remember, you are not alone.

anon137287
Post 112

Olay In Shower lotion is amazing! Get some and use it.

anon134748
Post 111

The scalp itching is driving me mad! I can't brush or comb my hair without getting intense itchiness. Is there a shampoo that can help? I don't mind the rest of my body getting the lines of hives when pressure is applied because it doesn't seem to itch as bad as my scalp.

anon133998
Post 110

I am 18 and I have the same symptoms since childhood, did not go to the doctor yet because the medicine is very bad we have in Saudi Arabia.

Is there a solution for this disease? Please reply to my inquiry.

anon133690
Post 109

I was diagnosed with this about two or three years ago, and luckily it's been mild enough to be managed with antihistamines. Occasionally my skin just doesn't respond tot he tablets, but otherwise it's fine. There's no sign of this 'going away' as I've been told it would.

anon129340
Post 108

I have been diagnosed with dermatographia about five months ago. The doc has gave me ucerax medicine, and telfast 180 and zyrtec to be taking daily. i guess i have a severe case of it as daily tabs don't work without the ucerax which is heavily sedative.

i have recently found out I'm pregnant and have stopped all meds. However my skin is paying for it as it's at its worst with the cold weather. I find that my skin cracks and stings more and the welts last for longer when its cold outside. does anyone suffer from the same?

and can anyone recommend an alternative, safe to use when pregnant solution to helping this?

anon125922
Post 107

After reading the other posts I'm certain this is what I have. I developed it about six weeks ago and haven't seen a doctor yet. I am 35, have never had any history of any allergies whatsoever.

I am in grad school and under a lot of stress and figured that stress was the cause of my itchy welts and bumpy skin. I'm also losing more hair than normal when I wash it (probably related to stress and a less than healthy diet as well).

The only other health condition that I have is hypothyroidism which I was diagnosed with in 2008 and take levothroid daily to treat it. I do not take any other medications but it sounds like I need to add an antihistamine to the regimen.

Other than witch hazel does anyone know of natural remedies? I don't really like the idea of taking an antihistamine daily. I've found that Aveeno oatmeal bath helps but it's not proactive.

Good luck to everyone! This sure is miserable and I'm trying to stay positive but it's hard to do so.

anon123877
Post 106

I have it too! It started about a month after I started working at a clothing retail store. I think I may be just allergic to the chemicals on the clothes, because it's always particularly bad at work. Zyrtec, huh? I'll try it and see if it helps. Thanks!

anon118636
Post 105

I'm like everyone on this site. I have been dealing with this since I was 35 and now I am 44. I had test after test i.e. bloodwork, skin prick test etc. The doctors can't find anything. Now I am taking Zyrtec as a daily regimen to keep from itching.

I think it may be anxiety or stress related as well. I've been dealing with stress during this dermographia saga. I hope that one day soon I will be over this.

anon116092
Post 104

Wow, I'm so glad I'm not the only one with this! my doctor told me what it was, but he said very few people had it! i think the main cause for mine is stress.

i started getting the rashes right when my parents started fighting. I'm hoping when my parents split up, it will all just go away. the itchiness is annoying, but the worst thing is that even when I'm taking my medicine, random red spots show up on my face. its so embarrassing in school. or I'll scratch my arm, and a few moments later my friend will be like "oh my gosh!" but it's fun sometimes. when i see I'm starting to get the lines, me and my friend will draw like hearts and stuff on my arms. but when it's just dark red lines all down my arm, people look at me strange, and then i have to explain the whole thing to them and they still think I'm a freak.

anon112083
Post 103

I've had this for ages. I'm almost 28 now and still have it.

For me the trigger was definitely extreme emotional stress. That caused it to show up in the first place. It came in waves, however, I was able to conquer the first wave which lasted for about three years by eliminating the stress and becoming very active in sports (seemed to have helped).

But then I'm under another very heavy pressure and it came back after I was free for about six months (second wave). This one lasted for almost five years.

Near the end of the fourth year, I started taking oligomeric proanthocyanidins supplement which seems to clear it away and I've been free for about 1.5 years. Then another bout of extreme stress came (I need to deal with life better). And I've been having this till now. I retried the oligomeric proanthocyanidins supplement but I got bad joint reaction from it this time so I stopped taking it.

anon111850
Post 102

I've had this all my life - or at least as long as I can remember! My mother told me once that she got it after eating a bunch of Benadryl as a child- spontaneously- and then had it for the next few decades until it went away.

I remember being mortified at times when I was young. One time in particular I scratched

my face on something before going onstage for a leading role and had the biggest welt. I was horrified, but nobody seemed to notice. I am 30 now, nearly 31, and just today I caught a glimpse of several welts across my forehead where I had very lightly scratched when trying to get the hair out of my eyes in the wind.

Kids would write their names on my arm when I was young and wait for it to welt up. It happens all over my body and especially on my face it seems. Most people seem to think it is scars. I get a lot of funny looks from people concerned.

Regardless, the main thing I would like to share is that I no longer care. It no longer affects me. My husband doesn't even notice anymore. In fact, I actually forgot that I even had this condition for the last few years until just a week or so ago! When it came back I asked my husband if I had it the last few years and he said yeah. However, it was much better.

I guess I thought I had finally outgrown it like my mother did. Anyway, it seems to have come back with a few life changes so maybe it is linked to them- 1) caffeine. I used to drink it like a fish and my hives were a lot worse then. I quit during pregnancy and the hives were better then. I really think they are linked. 2) Hormones. I just had a baby and am breastfeeding. Did not notice hives ever while pregnant! Oh and a note to comment about another person's comment on this train-- I also suffered horrendous pain when first breastfeeding and maybe they are related.

3) Stress-- needless to say that with a new baby there has been a bit of that. It always seems related to stress. I must note that I am generally more stressed when consuming caffeine so this may also be the link. 4) dairy and wheat and sugar all seem related.

5) Cardboard and other toxic things-- eliminating toxins from my environment, diet, personal care products while pregnant really did seem to make a massive difference!

Lastly, I also took Accutane for acne - it seemed to help my hives! Lots of people on here say it made theirs worse, but mine were better as was my acne-- one of the best things I ever did for myself! I also have very fair and very sensitive skin- just another factor of consideration.

anon110909
Post 101

hello, i have had dermographia for nearly two years now, i take telfast 180 everyday, i do get itchy in the mornings and nights when it starts to wear off, the redness is the annoying thing. i look like I've been attacked by something when i need to scratch my skin.

Trying clothes on is the worst. i got this condition two days after getting a puppy. i had all the tests and nothing came up, and it frustrated me because it seemed like i had no answers but now i understand that this condition is unexplained. it just appears.

anon109714
Post 99

I am a 55 year old female. I literally got this condition for the first time three weeks ago. I'd been experiencing something biting me at night (fleas, mosquitoes?), so I was scratching a lot during the day. Then I started noticing welts wherever I had scratched myself, which disappeared as quickly as they appeared. I've never had allergies that much, but this seems like one.

But allergies are really the body's immune system responding to some sort of stimuli. This led me to think that maybe the way to cure this is to make sure your immune system is getting the nutrients it needs to remain healthy. There are two recent events that could be related to the onset of dermographia. I recently learned that my father has Stage IV colon cancer, and that put me under a lot of stress. The other possibly related thing that happened was that I was exposed to some sort of weird mold/fungus that had been growing on my metal Levolor blinds above my air conditioner in my bedroom.

My boyfriend discovered this mold and decided to take down the blind and wash the mold off in the shower adjacent to our bed. He probably spread mold spores everywhere during the process. I'd be curious to know if this could be some early warning sign of MS.

anon106795
Post 98

I have had dermographia for the past six years. I went to the doctor and he told me to take the antihistamine Zyrtec or its proper name Cetirizine. It worked wonders for me. One tablet a day almost completely makes it disappear. Sometimes I get a little redness, but definitely no welts or itching. Its a godsend.

anon103947
Post 97

I posted on here in September of 2009 and was suffering from dermographia. It was brought on by huge amounts of stress and emotion and, luckily, only lasted about four or five months for me. It has been gone for quite a while now and I am thankful. This was my second occurrence. I hope it never happens again.

anon102789
Post 96

Thank goodness I found out what this was. It started all of sudden after I had a real bad reaction to two mosquito bites. I get itching fits that feel like they migrate up and down my body. Sometimes I scratch for 20 minutes. I get red raised welts and bumps. I thought I was allergic to my own fingernails. It seems that sweating irritates it, but I scratch with and without the sweating. It is great to put a name to this. I am also a Black female over 40.

anon100434
Post 95

I can't believe that I found this site with so many others with this freakish condition! Mine, as with the others, came on randomly. I thought it might have had something to do with a change in meds.

I have had my husband rub alcohol on a cotton pad on my back to make it stop itching and to get the welts go down. I buy alcohol in big containers since it seems to be the easiest to apply. One of the posts above suggested witch hazel and I'm going to try that.

Another thing that seems to work pretty well is Benadryl spray. My husband bought it for his bout of poison ivy and I was desperate to stop the itch and would have tried anything! I have been getting the Walgreen's version since it's a lot cheaper and that seems to work most of the time.

Now that I've read the other posts, it makes sense that the topical antihistamine works pretty well. This is so frustrating! It's embarrassing to get these welts anytime I am itchy. I try to wait it out, hoping that it will subside, but that only makes it worse and I have to scratch even harder making even bigger marks. It looks like I've been attacked or something like that. Good luck to everyone in finding some kind of relief!

anon96366
Post 94

I am 37 years old and just developed this. I was actually told by my rheumatologist, as I have fibromyalgia and arthritis, what it was I had after two visits to the emergency room in one weekend.

Until a bad allergic reaction with severe hives (they were huge red splotches with raised welts within), I never had this happen. Now, taking antihistamines doesn't even help.

I was told that Benadryl (diphenhydramine which is an H1 antihistamine)alone doesn't help every person, so add in an a heartburn medication such as Tagamet or Pepcid for the H2. However it still doesn't help with demographia.

It may sound odd, but I don't even have to scratch, my hubby touching me or brushing my hair causes the welts to appear, too. Good luck to you all!

anon96141
Post 93

It's frustrating to see all of these posts but no cure. mine started just over a year ago. I am 38 and have never had skin issues like this. I don't get the initial itching sensation at all but mine even happens when i lean up against the edge of a counter or something. you can see the perfect line of where my arm was.

About the only thing i can think of as to a contributor, would be the novocaine I received at the dentist office shortly before my symptoms appeared. I wonder if that has anything to do with it, I can't imagine novocaine would have a lasting effect like that?

anon93700
Post 92

I never knew that there was a name for it! (Wow, that's never been said before.) Fortunately, I have it mildly enough that it doesn't itch much, if at all, but I can write my name with my nail, too, and when I had my guinea pig, I'd always walk away looking as if I had been mugged after I played with him. The scratches would swell at least a millimeter off of my skin.

anon92556
Post 91

I'm so happy I found this forum. I'm not alone! I can now put a name with this-- dermographia. I always knew that had to be a name, I just didn't research it. Reading the posts I see it comes in many levels of severity. I've been dealing with this since I was 25 (I'm now 29), one night I mixed some champagne with some other alcohol and two days later I began seeing welts after scratching.

I figured the alcohol triggered something (most of the posts mention something happening that triggered it, and I wonder if it can be triggered or does it just happen).

I've never had any allergies and I didn't have sensitive skin -- it just came out of nowhere.

I'm pretty much like everyone on here. With me I start itching then I scratch, then I welt up, then it gets red and hot from the scratching and I just want to scratch more & more which leads to more welts. The welts go away in 2-3 minutes but it sure is annoying. I don't itch all the time or welt up it doesn't happen every day its just random. sometimes during the day I scratch myself and it leaves a welt and sometimes not. Every so often someone will look at my face or arm and say what happened then I look at them and say oh sometimes when I scratch myself I welt up then end the conversation. It's kind of hard to explain this to people.

It usually gets bad when I'm in a calm state, usually under the covers. now I always use a sheet. At night sometimes it just feels like a surge of something goes through my body almost like someone injected me with a small dose of something (I guess that is the release of histamines), then the itchy feeling comes over my arms, legs, and back.

It's the worst for me sometimes at night around 9 p.m. I'm like ok, it's about to hit but it usually leaves after about 10 or 15 minutes of unstoppable itching/scratching.

Ironically when I'm drinking (I'm a casual drinker) I never experience any symptoms or maybe my mind is in another place but it never happens when I'm drinking my wine or any other spirits, but the next day it always seems worse than if I hadn't drank. Maybe I shouldn't drink. I doubt I'll be giving it up anytime soon.

Oh once I did a water fast and I didn't experience any symptoms -- not one itch. No food or alcohol, so whatever we put in our body might make it worse. So what do we do? Just stop eating?

I guess there isn't a cure. I'll try some of the suggestions that people have left and see if it helps.

#47: I am a black female also. My mom said my grandmother and uncle had it but I don't know if that means anything.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Scratch -- I mean see you later.

anon91631
Post 90

I have also noticed certain food groups will worsen the condition. I am 44 and have been trying to control it for decades.

Mine, I feel, is severe since it interrupts my sleeping, and my ability to focus if an itchy episode begins in the middle of a meeting or even while driving.

Sweat and other natural body fluids really intensify it, especially after having a lot of sugar or too much dairy. If I cry too much my eyelids get really itchy and sore (from scratching them.)

I have to change underwear about three times a day to make sure body perspiration moisture stays at a minimum.

They tell me the foods I eat won't affect it -- not true. They really do and I know others who are having the same symptoms with the sugars and dairies.

I am just wondering from those of you who have tried unpasteurized dairy have had the same effect?

anon91233
Post 89

I have had this condition for six months now. I started taking claritin and it helped but i decided i didn't want to take a tablet everyday. witch hazel, which can be bought at any pharmacy, is the only thing that helps to stop the itching and takes the swelling down. it is amazing, it's natural, and its topical--no pills. hope this helps.

anon90534
Post 88

I found out that when I eat sugar it is terrible. I gave up sugar for about 60 days--not even fruit, and I started to feel fine. Sometimes a mark will appear, but no itchy feeling. Anyone else have this?

anon90255
Post 87

Has anyone with dermographia breastfed and had any issues? I have recently found out that I have mild dermographia.

I am breastfeeding and having burning and shooting pains occasionally afterward. I have been treated for several other possible causes with minimal relief and no one seems to be able to help me. The dermatologist wonders if it isn't related to dermographia.

I would greatly appreciate any input.

anon90185
Post 86

For number 84, I had loads of tests and allergy tests too, everything came back normal. it is not related to any food allergy, but maybe it would be good to know if you are allergic to any foods, but to my knowledge, it is not food related. it has to do with histamines in our bodies. we make a lot of it, which is why I take non-drowsy anti-histamines every day.

anon88917
Post 85

I have a mild form of this dermatographia or dermographia, but I have a terrible chronic cough after colds, and I'm wondering, can this happen in your throat, and be exacerbated by coughing? I need to stop coughing, it's so painful.

anon88425
Post 84

I've had the condition for as long as I can remember-- I'm almost 30 now-- and it's reassuring to see that there are others out there who know what it's like.

Mine falls into the severe category. I welt up at the slightest pressure, most noticeably on my arms and neck. The welts don't hurt at all, but they're inconvenient and made my teenage years socially awkward. My parents even got called into my junior high school principal's office because teachers saw marks and welts on me and thought I was being abused! Of course, this wasn't the case-- they explained my skin condition and the principal was quite embarrassed. The nice thing was that I got out of gym class a lot.

There isn't much info about dermographia online. I'm trying to find out if/how I can get tested for allergies, which have been especially bothersome lately. I got a blood test done for food allergies but I hear that more extensive testing involving needle pricks, is more accurate and covers more allergens.

Before I spend $50 on a co-pay to see a specialist, I'd like to know if I can even get the tests and if there's any alternative for people with this condition. Anyone know?

anon88392
Post 83

Unfortunately, all these responses do not have an answer for a cure. I developed this problem when I was about 50. I'm 59 now. I believe that like all diseases, it has it's origin in stress. Thank God that we don't have a worse problem! If anyone has a cure, please post it.

anon87245
Post 82

I've had it since I was born. Ever since I could remember I've had it. I never had it looked at, because it never itched or anything. I would say, just draw a smiley face on my arm and it would raise, not itch though. Was wondering why others itch but I don't. But I kind of consider myself lucky because of it. Any info please let me know. Thanks.

anon86377
Post 81

I'm in the same boat as number 17: my doctor said "dermatographia" ("skin-writing", I guess?) but I've had that all my life with no itching associated. Hot showers make it much more noticeable, but it's just never bothered me. Thank goodness.

And number 2, I would tend to think no to both questions. Are you thinking of shingles instead?

anon86017
Post 80

I have had dermographia for 10 years now. I am 38. Again it came out of the blue. Crazy itching, then little red bumps. Now if I rub up against something, two minutes later a welt appears.

I take Reactine every other day, but i have noticed that I need to take it every day now, as I am becoming tolerant to it. But it sure does help with the crazy itch -- it's like torture.

Also, I feel heat spots on my skin sometimes, and i look down and there are welts. And just like many people here, it would all disappear for 18 months then boom! "I'm back".

anon85957
Post 79

Finally! I know I'm not the only one who has dermographia! I scratch every day for hours and welts keep appearing on my skin and it is so irritating.

anon85739
Post 78

I am 51. I was diagnosed by a dermatologist as a teenager. At that time I was told there was no treatment. It lessened in my twenties and then a couple of years ago it came back. This time it was suggested that I try an antihistamine. I take an extra strength reactin every morning and it keeps things under control. If I miss a day, though, it is back. You just get used to it.

anon84862
Post 77

Finally! People who understand what I go through daily!

I first got these symptoms (like many of you) wildly out of the blue one day. My skin started itching, and when I scratched I swelled up in ridiculous welts across my back. This lasted for several weeks until I finally went to the doctor, who diagnosed me with "stress related hives".

I questioned the diagnosis, but went ahead and took the medication he prescribed me -- Xyzal, which seemed to 'cure' my trouble. While I was taking the medication, no more itching! However once I stopped taking it, the symptoms returned. Then out of the blue, it seemed to disappear.

I was free and clear for the last 18 months until all of a sudden, one day, it was back. The last two weeks have been miserable. I'm going to the doctor in two days and am going to mention dermographia. In reading the descriptions from everyone, I'm convinced this is what I have.

anon84129
Post 76

I have been diagnosed with dermographia. I am taking sntihistamines, but they are not much help. It happened out of the blue-- unreal. I have never had skin allergies, ever.

I am a very young 52 and I have very fair skin. How about some light tanning rays, to dry the histamine up on the surface of the skin? Anyone tried this, as I don't tan, but at this point, will try anything.

anon83197
Post 75

For the dance, also, if you can, take some allergy pills like aerius, talk to your doctor if you have time, but I take two every morning. I still get red, but it sure helps with the itch.

anon83196
Post 74

For your dance coming up in six days, honestly, wear your dress, of course.

I have had this for about five months and I am finally starting to realize that I would rather educate people about what is going and you know what? People are understanding and if they do say anything mean, believe me, I know it sounds hard, but just ignore them because those are not the type of people you should surround yourself with.

Everyone I have explained this to has been understanding. I would much rather have people ask me about it, than stare, even though I have never actually been stared at for it. i very much encourage you to wear your shorts and anything else you like.

I have decided that I am not going to let this problem interfere with my life. I am even going to play paintball soon. So, wear your dress and have fun at your dance!

anon82406
Post 73

I am 17 years old, I have had Dermographia once when I was nine, then regularly from age 11. I used to think it was so 'cool' to have other kids write on me with their fingernails then watch it puff up. I have severe allergies and die without medicine.

Just as other stories, it's fun at first when kids write their names onto your arms, but now its quite embarrassing not to be able to scratch yourself without people thinking you are breaking out in hives. Nothing helps!

As I get older, it gets worse. It used to go away in about 5-10 minutes sometimes it can last up to two days now. Help!

anon81629
Post 72

I am 14 years old and I have this. I'm always asking my friends if I'm red after everything I do and they are sick of it now and just ignore my questions. I haven't worn shorts in a year because my legs get red so easily.

I hate wearing bathing suits because my skin gets red everywhere. I'm on a track team and everyone is always asking me why I am wearing long pants and I always make something up and my friends tell me to just wear shorts and that it will be fine. But they don't know what it is like. They have never seen it when it was bad because I don't even like letting my closest of friends seeing me like that.

If I had darker skin it wouldn't be as bad because the marks wouldn't show up as dark. But I'm really fair. Every time I wear short-sleeve shirts I have to put foundation on my arms to cover the red marks up and the ones that might happen. My mom yells at me for doing it but she doesn't understand. No one does unless if they have it. and it's really starting to bother me.

I have a dance in six days and my dress is sleeveless. Any suggestions on what to do?

anon81300
Post 71

i have had this for about a week now, and I'm 21 years old. no allergies, no history of this happening at all to me. how do you get it and why does this happen? i want to get rid of it. seeing the comments made me cry, because i don't want this forever. it's not going away. At least with other allergies people can't see you suffering, but with dermographia everyone can see it. you can't hide your skin.

anon80844
Post 70

I have an engagement party to go to and I am not use to having this. I just have had it for about five months. I feel like everyone will stare at me.

anon80498
Post 69

I got dermographia about five months ago super randomly. I had been prone to rashes in the past so I did not pay much attention to it, and just took some of what was quickly becoming my best friend, Benadryl. But it got so bad, that I was up to almost a full bottle within less then a week, and it is hard to stay awake on Benadryl.

The dermatologist I went to see did not know what it was and just told me to stop doing a few things that I was doing, for example, to not wear black clothing because there could be something in the dye, and some other odd stuff. I tried, but it did not work.

My family doctor was finally able to tell me what it was within two minutes of me seeing him. I was so happy to finally have a name to it that I cried.

He said mine is very severe and he had wished his medical students were there to see it! I am itchy all the time and I am taking two to three aerius pills a day. It does help with the itch, but like everyone, I get my bad days. But I have not taken Benadryl for about a month, since I started those pills.

But I still turn red even if I am just sitting there not doing anything. I am just a red person.

Doctors have told me that it can be caused by extreme emotional distress, not really necessarily an allergy, and I had been through lots of blood tests too. I have recently left a message with my doctor to give me a call because if everyone tells me it is from emotional distress and anxiety, I want to see if anti-anxiety pills would work. Keep you updated.

anon80231
Post 68

my daughter has just been diagnosed with Dermographia. She's only two years old. My mum and my sister get it. I feel so sorry for my daughter as she itches all the time. She does take meds, but i don't like giving her them all the time.

anon80007
Post 67

I've taken Accutane and so has my brother. This was back in 2002 or something like that, and as soon as we got off it, we both experienced dermographia. Mine stopped after a couple of months, and my brother still has his. Today I noticed that it came back, but very mildly. I'm guessing it's from some bad food I ate.

anon79852
Post 66

I have had (I guess its called dermographia) for as long as i can remember. I just turned 21 and still live with it.

My skin would start to itch so i would scratch it (normal human nature, right?), but then it would itch and itch a lot more, and my skin would swell up in lines where i have been itching and turn red.

If i got hit, it would swell at the spot where i got hit. My family would tell me to stop scratching but i can't. It's really hard because it's too much. they don't know how bad it really is.

I am really glad i came across this site. I have read most of these previous posts and i realized that i am not alone. Some people only have it in one spot, but i pretty much have it all over my body. I have been really embarrassed by this (kind of still am). My siblings think it's kind of funny, like when i've been scratching my back it would swell up with lines and they say i'd been mauled by a bear or if we ever got stranded on an island they can inflate me and use me as a raft.

That used to get me mad at times but i've heard it so many times from them it just makes me laugh now.

I have really sensitive skin because when i change shirts my face would turn a bit red from where the shirt collar gets caught on my face. Or when i get a haircut, the barber thinks they are hurting me because my head would turn red.

I find that cold water seems to make the swelling go down somewhat faster. Lotion would also help with the itching at times but the swelling was still there. It doesn't seem like it will go away anytime soon for me. Time can only tell.

anon77423
Post 65

I've been to doctors and read a lot about this condition. There is nothing you can really do get rid of it. I have had it since i was 16. I am now 25. I also think anxiety has a lot to do with it.

tomonecat
Post 64

As I have said previously, I have had this condition since last Christmas. I have got used to having it now and the itching is not so bad with taking antihistamines every day. I still get red marks on my skin after any slight scratch or pressure. I'm going to try a two-week detox to see if my symptoms subside, and will post the results on completion.

As others have said, it is comforting to know that you are not alone with this condition.

anon76956
Post 63

Wow, and I thought I was the only one.

It makes me thankful to see other people experience this. It's so bizarre and frustrating and I've been having it for the past few years.

anon76738
Post 62

This stinks but I only have it on my back.

anon76519
Post 61

It started about three months ago and have been a very bad pain in the butt. I don't mind the itching but the burning and swelling! I can't take this anymore. So from what I understand, there is not cure and nothing to ease the frustration. that is sad.

anon75456
Post 60

Wow. For two months now I have had these bizarre lines/scratches/hives on my body; I even went to the ER.

After I ran down a gauntlet of test, I was diagnosed today with dermographia. Also, MD put me on another bp diuretic as the old one causes hives.

I can actually write my name on my body. I don't want to go out socially. Not only does it burn, itch and sting, it is embarrassing. It appeared out of nowhere! How long does this last and why?

anon73880
Post 59

I, just like everyone else wants to find out why I have this and how do I get rid of it!

I'm 18 and have had it chronically for about four months. It started completely out of the random blue and it has been driving me crazy trying to work out why i got it.

I am going insane from the itching and so is everyone else who sees me. I am reading through everyone else's comments and thinking this sounds exactly like me! People think I have been attacked by an animal or something because my body is just covered in scratch marks.

people think I'm a freak and I was starting to think i was. I have been taking antihistamines every day but i am becoming immune to them and they aren't working as well anymore.

I went to my doctor four times and she kept telling me it was nothing so I saw another doctor and she told me straight away that this is what I have.

I got cream to put on but I will still scratch uncontrollably. I find that cold water helps a lot so I have been having a lot of cold showers. Everyone is constantly telling me to stop scratching, but they don't understand that I can't stop, as it constantly feels like something is biting my skin.

anything that touches me makes me itchy, especially my hair! I also like to write my name on me to make a bit of a joke out of it.

please someone find a cure and thanks everyone.for your ideas, I will take them on board.

tomonecat
Post 58

Woke up on Christmas morning with dermographia, was feeling itchy the night before. Don't know why it came on, as I have had no history of skin complaints or allergies. Pressure or slight scratch causes red marks to appear with itching and burning sensation.

The doctor has told me there is no cure and it can go as quick as it came, but by most comments I've seen, it's going to be a long time. Can't wear a watch as it irritates my skin, -- and guess what the wife bought me for Christmas? A watch!

anon70520
Post 56

i was diagnosed with dermographia this year and i hate it. I'm only 14 and i feel like a freak. especially when i play softball and turn red with 3D lines. hot water does not help. i have to take liquids, pills, a cream and had a shot. i do hate it but there are worse things i could have.

anon69482
Post 55

I have had dermographia my entire life (I'm 27), and I have no other allergies. When I have a bad itching attack, as I have had all day today, I pat cold water on the trouble spots or apply unscented lotion. Either of these methods usually calm my skin down enough that I can stop scratching and let the swelling go down. Good luck, everyone!

anon67867
Post 54

Glad to have found this site and read all the posts. I've just been diagnosed with this condition and like a lot of other folks knew nothing about it. Had not even heard about this before.

So many people kept asking, what is wrong with you and I had no answers. Yeah, I was also beginning to feel like a freak. I've been prescribed Accutane, but it doesn't seem to be a whole lot of help. It's been a year or more now and it is worse just after I shower. I look like a lobster. The redness passes, but the itching still drives me crazy. But at least I now know what it is. Thanks for all the info everyone.

anon67178
Post 53

I have been experiencing these symptoms since high school. Drawing a cross-hatch pattern lightly on my arm with my fingernail creates a very interesting (albeit itchy) 3D pattern a few minutes later.

For those wondering about tattoos, I got my first one a few weeks ago. I showed the artist my interesting skin, and she was pretty nervous about doing the tattoo. As she started sketching on my shoulder with a fine-point sharpie, the lines began to puff up and become inflamed. At that point she almost backed out from doing the ink.

However, once we started the work with the needle, no significant swelling occurred whatsoever. The tattoo turned out great. Obviously I can't guarantee that you'll have the same success, but I'd be surprised if you had any significant problems (just be very careful not to scratch your ink while it is healing!)

anon65965
Post 52

Don't worry all. I'm 27 and have had it for almost 15 years now. At first it is embarrassing and annoying, but over time I forget I even have it. It is now just a fun bar trick. There are a lot of worse conditions you could have been born with.

anon65203
Post 51

I just got diagnosed with this. It's not all over my skin though (at least I don't think so). It's mostly on my torso. Actually, just recently it started working down my leg.

I have no idea what to do and it's a huge bummer that there's no cure. I don't want to take antihistamines the rest of my life! I'm hoping to God that it's some sort of allergen that's triggering it. That way I can get rid of whatever is causing it and live happily ever after.

anon63119
Post 50

I've just developed dermographia. I believe my body is suffering from withdrawal. I took a benadryl tablet every night for six years in order to sleep. I stopped cold turkey about four months ago, and now I have this condition.

Makes sense to me that I was taking an antihistamine for so long, and then to stop, my body has stopped producing antihistamine on its own now.

I have not consulted a doctor, but after the latest studies on Benadryl, I don't want to take it long term again.

anon61847
Post 49

I am very happy to come across this site. I am extremely concerned for all of us that have dermographia. I am completely out of my mind with the itching and swelling.

I am presently on Allegra and it is temporarily helping the symptoms but I do not like to take meds. I try do do things in a natural way.

I try to look at the positive side of everything in my life, just sometimes it is nice to know I am not crazy, that there really is a name for what I am going through.

Well if this is the worst that is happening today I will make the best of the situation. There is definitely a greater plan for us all and maybe this is a path for us to become aware of something that we are all missing.

Like a clue, a clue to who knows what but I am going to keep my eyes wide open. Hope we all feel better!

anon61755
Post 48

I am 18 now and these symptoms for a while now. It's just starting to go away but it is horrible. I thought i just had "over sensitive skin" not an actual disease or anything.

Every time i touched my skin it would swell up, burn, and itch. It would be like that for up to two hours after i touched it. I still have this from time to time, but not as much as i used to. And i know this is not caused by allergies for me.

I can use things from time to time and it does not always welt up, itch or burn. I never know when it will happen.

I wonder if this would be genetic, because i also have family members that are like this.

anon61033
Post 47

I am 29 and just found out I have this (Dermographia). The worst was the itching on my scalp.

I have read all the posts and am now wondering the race of each person. I am a black female and yes I have these raised red lines wherever I scratch.

I have allergies but not with this kind of reaction. I recently changed my laundry detergent and my dermatologist thinks this would have triggered the reaction.

anon60858
Post 46

Oh yes, I have this - got it at 18, after a history of allergies and major surgery - stress and antibiotics. Goodness knows which tipped me over. I take antihistamines every day and that keeps it bearable.

anon60627
Post 45

i feel like this is ruining my life. I'm like an itchy freak all the time. the only thing I've found that works is aloe gel and baby powder over it. I'm sure it's in my head but it works for me. I'd eat broken glass to make this stop.

anon59721
Post 44

so I am 26 and have been really stressed lately, plus we switched fabric softener.

I have been prone to skin rashes in the past, but this itching has been going on for weeks, and I mean itching all over, especially where my clothes touch.

I can write my initials with my fingernail and in a couple of minutes it raises up and stays there for probably an hour or so. I see the dermatologist in march just for a routine check, wonder what he will have to say. Sounds like this to me though.

Really annoying, but would be happy to have an explanation like this for what is going on.

anon56846
Post 43

i'm glad i found this. Ive been turning red like this my whole life and never knew why. I remember that when i was younger my sister used to draw on my back by pushing her fingers up to my skin and it would turn red as if i had a rash.

anon56316
Post 42

When I first saw this, I thought I had been attacked by some vampire or some invisible insect. I just remembered it began happening after my brain injury and I was on various medication.

I also remembered developing an allergy to some so who knows, maybe an allergic reaction! But don't worry about fellow brothers and sisters with that condition. To God be the glory.

anon55511
Post 41

Thank goodness i finally know what this is. every time i touch myself too hard or scratch i swell up. This just started happening when i moved to florida. I thought i had a severe illness.

i control the itching -- it really isn't that bad for me, i guess i just have a mild form.

but at work if i accidentally run into something with my face it will swell up and I'll have to run to the restroom. it's embarrassing.

but i found out that cold water helps it go away quicker.

thanks for all the info. i hope this goes away really soon. it hasn't been as active as before so I'm hopeful.

good luck, folks and stay faithful. we can win. =))

anon54992
Post 40

I'm 25, and I have it too. I've only had it for about a year though, a couple of months after I had a baby. My mom said she had it in her 20s. I just use lots of ice packs and massive amounts of benadryl.

anon53972
Post 39

I just went to the doctor yesterday and it was confirmed I have dermographia. I have had these symptoms since I was around 16 and I'm not 23. It drives me crazy and all the time people will be like, oh what happened to your face or neck?

It gets really bad at times, and tends to worsen if I'm really stressed or during major temperature changes. I found the only relief that works for me is a thermal water spray in a can. My doctor said I could take Reactin every day but I don't want to be taking meds because it's something that's at random and I don't know the long term effects of repeated use.

I choose the natural way and it's way more cost effective and better for you! You can purchase these sprays at your local pharmacy by Vichy or Avene, and they come in different sizes too!

I keep one by my bed, in my purse, car, work, really everywhere because you never know! Honestly this is the only thing that has worked for me. Good luck fellow dermies! Take care and try not to scratch!

anon53301
Post 38

Have you tried homeopathic medicines for this? I did for my condition, and although it did not totally go away, the itching did reduce by almost 90 percent and I hardly get it but once or twice a year now.

anon52841
Post 37

I'm glad I'm not the only one with this. I've been to the docs and he couldn't tell me what it was. At night it looks like I've been attacked by a bear all over my back because i scratch it, and I've been asked if someone has tried to strangle me because of the red marks around my neck!

It has only been since may this year that this has been happening! I'm booked in for a tattoo in a week and am worried that it will happen then. I had some tats a few years back but didn't have this then! has anyone had a tattoo with this condition before? Please help.

anon52116
Post 36

When I turned 19 this had happened to me. I went to the doctor finally, after scratching my self until i would bleed at night. He first said it was scabies. I kind of agreed cause i was living in my college dorm at the time. After using everything i still itched and whelped up. Finally he said my body does not do good with any type of nylon. I played football and the pants were nylon. I am now 23 and this still happens. Guess i am just used to it by now. The last year it has actually started to go away. I have taken nothing for it so far.

anon51909
Post 35

I am 25 years old and have had it for about four or five years now, maybe since I was 20. My dad has it too but only got it about five years ago? Coincidence? I think not. It doesn't make sense, must be something we were exposed to, but my mom and brother did not get it, so it's in our genes i guess. I can write name on arm with medium scratching. It varies with different times of the year in severity,

Sometimes I'll put my backpack on and the light abrasion from the strap will raise up a portion of my arm and leave red marks -- not a problem except when i scratch my face and people think i have some weird thing going on. like, what happened to your face?

pc9jeff
Post 34

Wow this is a great find. I got this when I was 30 years old. I am now 42. It came on very suddenly within two weeks when I was working for a gravel company crushing rock (this might be a relationship from a couple of the above posts!). I itched and itched and after about two years of this, I couldn't take any more! I went to the dermatologist and he said that I had this and he prescribed Hydroxyzine hcl. It works well but it makes me very tired and if I don't take it for a couple of days, the disease comes back in a vengeance! I still feel that dull itching sensation every day though and it is embarrassing when I get my haircut or even bump into anything in public.

Why doesn't anyone study this?

anon48798
Post 33

thank god i found this! i was getting worried that i was a freak as i had never come across someone with this condition too. my friends scratch their names everywhere on my skin when we're on the bus, lol. i heard of a lady who has dermographia and etches art onto her skin, and gets thousands for each photograph sold. insane.

anon48516
Post 32

I am so thankful that I found this! I have been trying to diagnose myself since the docs haven't been any help. Even ended up in the emergency room with what I thought was severe hives a few weeks ago. Been going on for three weeks now. Can't imagine having it forever. Same thing happened about five years ago when I was under a lot of stress. It is worse where my clothes touch or if I even touch my face or scratch any part of my body it gets super hot, itchy and raised. After I wash my hair and body, I feel like I am one big hive! If I take benadryl and lie still and don't touch anything, it subsides. I hate this! I don't want to be doped up on benadryl all the time!

anon44406
Post 31

all my life i've had dermographia. i had no idea it was a skin disorder. i thought that welting from light scratches was normal. i always would get raised scratch marks where i touched my skin and only a year ago did i decide to see if there was a name for this and sure enough i have dermographia! it's kind of annoying that there's no real treatment or research on this. does anyone know if it can get worse with time?

anon44037
Post 30

Okay so I have Dermographia and it says that it's allergy related. Does this neccessarily mean that I am eating or having contact with something I'm allegric to?

anon40510
Post 29

Tingling in your back, which I also get, is more likely to be related to a sedentary (desk-based) lifestyle, and weakness of the back muscles and/or over-extension of the arms and scapula muscle complexes (from typing), which then gets aggravated when you drive (as it's the same position). Recommended to see a physio for a gym routine of muscle-building, and also yoga/pilates for stretching and core-strengthening. - G Fox.

anon38884
Post 28

I took acutane for a course of 4 months, and at the middle of the third month i started to have severe allergic reactions. i didnt know it was from accutane and i continued the whole course: 120 units of 10 mg. i took 1 daily. after two weeks from stopping this treatment, i couldn't bear the allergy and i went to the doctor to find out that it's dermographia and urticaria is a side effect of accutane so dermographia is a chronic kind of urticaria. i'm afraid this will continue. really it's very annoying specially when you go for shopping and change clothes, very bad, even when i'm in a resturant when my arms touch the table, raised red lines appear everywhere on my arms :(

anon38470
Post 27

i have not been diagnosed with this. they tell me i have uricartia, or chronic hives. it has been two years now, this sounds like me to a T though. if i bump myself or rub on something i welt up and it itches horribly. and it is so hard to stop the itching, i have been on all sorts of antihistimines, xyzal seemed to work, but insurance wont cover it, now i am taking cetrizine, hope it works. it is relieving to know i am not the only one. i thought i was weird! lol

anon37438
Post 26

I have had dermographia for three years now. I have also developed a tingling sensation in my back (kind of in behind my shoulder blade towards the centre of my back). Don't know if it is related - but it is a strange sensation that often happens when I am driving long distances. I take Telfast 180g every day (sometimes twice a day). Would love to find a reason for the symtoms......

kerryMe24
Post 25

I am so relieved to find out I am not the only one with this skin disorder. I don't know how many times I've had to explain to people that "oh its nothing" ...or "my skin is just really sensitive". I always try to ignore the itch bc as you know once you start it is virtually impossible to stop. Sometimes I go at it and it looks like i'm a burn victim (hours later).

I am 24 and i have had this since I was 16. It seems to be getting worse so i recently did some research and I saw that dermographia is linked to Myelin Sheath and MS. I may be freaking out but does anyone else worry that dermographia may be an early sign of MS?

Now I am really worried but still a bit reluctant to run off and get an MRI.

Thoughts?

anon33494
Post 24

I was diagnosed with dermographia a couple of years ago after my husband built a rock fireplace in our house and we had dust everywhere. Only thing that helps is Zyrtek, but I hate taking it because it makes me sleepy. I don't have a day without the welts and itching.

caligirl2009
Post 23

Oh also as a result of dermographia if I carry any heavy object or slap my hand down on something my whole hand swells up and hurts extremely bad.

caligirl2009
Post 22

Im 15 and for the past two years I had these strange red marks all over me and it itched like crazy, the first year i had it i got blood tested 4 times and doctors couldn't find any allergies and it turned out i had dermographia so i got diagnosed by my doctor with it. I took allergy medicine, for 5 months i didn't have it at all but all of a sudden i got it again and i still have it today.

Its so annoying every time i try on clothes at store i get red lines and itchy all over me and during school if i rub up against someone on accident in the hallways i get dermographia.

anon26523
Post 21

I was first diagnosed at age 21 and am now 39. I had about 10 years in between where the dermographia subsided. I have also developed an allergy to cold weather where I welt up and itch terribly. I believe my skin conditions have a heredity component and are triggered by stress.

anon26456
Post 20

I hate trying on clothes. I end up having these red marks all over my body.

The way I discovered the name for what condition I have was odd. I was actually getting a breast exam by a nurse practitioner. She said "Oh my you are swelling up!" I looked at my chest and everywhere she touched is where I had the reaction. She said, "I have never actually seen a case of dermographia!" She pulled a medical book off the shelf and showed me. I have had this for years and never knew what it was.

anon25289
Post 19

Gracious! I am so glad to finally have a name to this. Always thought I was allergic to myself. I always look like someone beat me up just by touching my face. I thought it was the oils in my hands.

anon24233
Post 18

It's amazing to finally have a name for this! I had this when I was a teenager. It used to drive me crazy. It disappeared as magically as it appeared.

I am convinced it was a result of where I worked. I worked during my teens in both a chocolate factory (yes we made hot chocolate powder, orange juices, powdered chicken stock, etc.) I worked there in summer and evenings during the school year I worked at a bakery, and we made bread, literally put it in the oven, took it out and usually buttered garlic bread.

During that time my skin would welt like crazy if anything touched it. In the bakery my friends would smack me in the back (we'd wear halters it was so hot in back) and there I would be minutes later with this huge hand print welt on my back. I could write my name with a fingernail on my skin, and even sitting in the grass, the grass blades would scratch my skin it was that sensitive.

During this time I also would get these RINGS on my skin. They'd start with what looked like a large pimple but it had dry flaky skin in the middle...it would spread until it was the size of a dime or quarter, and in the middle was dry skin...and then it would just fade off into normal skin.

No one could tell me what that was. I thought ringworm cause it looked like it should be called ringworm but was told no...and no one ever could explain what I had then.

So it's nice to see a name for this all. I have to say when I stopped working in both these places the condition disappeared and here I am 30 year years later and it never once re-appeared.

So I am convinced it's something in all those chemicals or perhaps the flour flying around or the heat and combination of all those irritants...who knows.

Don't wear wool...that was excruciating, and I can see why the gal in the mall can't even touch clothing with all those starches, dust and other chemicals which must exist on all that stuff. Just think the hands and machines and crates etc. it's passed through to get to the rack? Wash before wearing everything.

anon22279
Post 17

I'm not sure if I have a mild form of dermographia, or if what I experience is just something anyone with pale skin has. I can take my fingernail, run it down the pale underside of my forearm, and, especially if I then lightly rub my arm a bit with my hand (to increase blood flow, maybe?), a bright red line will appear. And I can scratch the back of my neck and create bright red marks, too. Sitting on my hands can really make them look odd, and a tight waistband can create a red mark, too. Also, hot showers leave a large red mark down the middle of my back where the water runs down. No welts or hospital visits, though. So, is this all fairly normal, or dermographia?

anon21884
Post 16

the worse thing is trying on clothes at the mall, i look as if i have been attacked by a cougar because the tags scratch my neck and face. my doctor did like it when i went to go show him my condition and i had drawn a palm tree and the words, help my skin on my arm. he laughed and said i would be a lot of fun at parties and then brought in all the other doctors in the office to show them my skin. he didnt give me a cure yet : (

maybe one day i can go to the mall without fear of looking like i attempted to hurt myself every time i go in to try on a shirt.

anon21446
Post 15

for years i was misdiagnosed, heat rash, allergic reaction then when i was 24 it was so bad i ended up in hospital with what looked like whip marks all along my back, the itch was making me mad. they told me what it was and my body was so over loaded with histamine that they gave me drugs normally given for leprosy just to calm it down.i now take antihistamines every day but this is to stop the itching which i feel every second of the day. i get a really bad attack every 7 or so years, my specialist said thats because my blood has totally renewed itself and we have to start all over again with the super drugs. on the funny side i used to write telephone numbers on my arm if i didnt have a pen near as it would stay for about 15 mins! id love a cure, id love one day without feeling itchy

anon19580
Post 14

Well, I guess that I have this as well... If i scratch or rub my skin I will welt up and the area becomes itchy and hot feeling. I had one doc that pretty much told me that I was allergic to myself.... All this time I though I was the only one...

anon16788
Post 13

I also have this, although i notice that there are times when i don't experience it. Not sure but its kinda seasonal for me. I am allergic to zinc, I don't know if it has something to do with it. I hope they do more studies about this coz even though its not that serious, its still irritating. And very disturbing at times.

anon15185
Post 12

I had dermographia on and off all through my childhood but it was very random and did not happen very often so it was not officially diagnosed until I was 14 when I had an outbreak so severe I ended up in hospital doped up on antihisthamine drugs with welts covering my entire body (even the soles of my feet and my eyelids were welted). I saw a specialist who diagnosed it as dermographia and he told me I should grow out of it in time..... I am now 27 and still get horrible welts everywhere every time I touch my skin on a daily basis. If anyone ever discovers a cure please please post it here!!!

anon13782
Post 11

I am not sure when I first developed dermographia, but it comes and goes - I am now 37. I think there may be a hereditary component because my five year old has had it on and off since he was two.

anon12412
Post 10

i also do have dermographia. Never knew the name and not medically proven by doctors but I am sure i am having it. I had it a few years back, when I was 15/16 too. Yup, people amused when seeing I can write my name on my arm.

I also experience sudden rashes on my skin, which I do not know why. Sometimes, I do not get the rashes when I am eating seafood and sometimes the red spot just appear at anytime without I realizing it..

anon11815
Post 9

I'm 23 and have had itchy skin for several years, possibly due to a natural feather duvet. Yet only since last Winter did my scratching produce symptoms of severe dermographia. Very strange!

Believe it or not, the only thing that instantly soothes my skin is a brand of "fashion" body lotion (Ted Baker). I don't want to be taking pills or stockpiling that lotion for the rest of my life though...

anon11508
Post 8

I have had Dermagraphia since the age of 5 or 6. At school when I was younger children would be amused that they could write their name on my arm, but now that I am 34, not so funny, especially when you go out socially and then you scratch yourself and it hives up.

anon9126
Post 7

i got dermographia.. was soo sensitive, i'd write on my skin and within seconds the letters would just appear on my skin in a 3D version. It came on its own when I was about 15/16, and now i'm 22 and i think its gone..

anon7560
Post 6

I have dermographia. The weird thing is that it only started a few months ago. Any one have any idea what caused it or how to get rid of it?

anon6685
Post 5

any time i scratch or get smacked i get red and welts.... i can write my name with welts that's how sensitive it is. what do i have?

liggy
Post 4

Can Dermographia cause a tingling feeling in your back?

anon6349
Post 3

Can Dermographia cause tingling in your back?

neevie13
Post 2

Is it possible, dermographia may also involve the myelin sheath (around the nerves)? Also, if true, could sulfer help the condition?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email