- What Is It?
- At Risk
The exact cause of dermatographia is unknown. However, it appears to be an autoimmune disease in nature because autoantibodies to certain skin proteins have been found in some patients. Dermatographia can be linked to the inappropriate release of the chemical histamines. Besides, several factors may also trigger a hive-like reaction, including:
- Cold exposure
- Emotional upset
- Medications, such as penicillin
- Alcohol use
What is dermatographia?
Dermatographia or dermatographism is a benign skin condition in which there is an exaggerated skin healing tendency in response to pressure or rubbing. They are also known as skin writing or dermatographic urticaria. People with this condition develop a localized, hive-like reaction while scratching their skin. These marks usually fade within 30 minutes. The hive-like rash usually appears on the scalp, in the genital area, and on the soles of the feet.
What are the symptoms of dermatographia?
The signs and symptoms of dermatographia include:
- Raised red lines
- Hive-like welts
The symptoms of dermatographia may appear suddenly and disappear within 30 minutes. Dermatographia may develop slowly and last for several hours to days.
Who is at risk of getting dermatographia?
Dermatographia is common in teenagers and young adults. However, there is a probability of older adults experiencing the symptoms. Some other risk factors include:
It commonly affects 2-5% of the general population.
How is dermatographia diagnosed?
The dermatologist takes down the patient’s history. They will examine the existing hives or observe their appearance in response to a gentle movement of a tongue depressor over the skin.
The physician will likely use a tongue depressor to draw or press on the skin of the arm or back to check if hives appear.
What are the treatments for dermatographism?
If the symptoms of dermatographism do not go away within 30 minutes, one may require:
How to prevent dermatographism?
The severity of dermatographism can be reduced by following these steps:
- Follow a good skincare routine and avoid using harsh soaps, lotions, or other products that may dry or irritate the skin
- Avoid wearing irritating fabrics, such as wool
- Regularly moisturize the skin
- Wear loose cotton clothes and avoid tight-fitting clothes
- Avoid taking extremely hot or cold showers or baths
- Be gentle when towel-drying after swimming or bathing
- Consume plenty of non-inflammatory foods, such as seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids, leafy greens (kale and spinach), tomatoes, fruits, and olive oil
- Avoid overexposure to sunlight and apply sunscreen to the skin
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Cleveland Clinic. Dermatographism (Dermatographia). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17793-dermatographism-dermatographia
Top Is Dermatographia an Autoimmune Disease? Related Articles
Arcalyst (rilonacept)Arcalyst is a prescription medicine called an interleukin-1 (IL-1) blocker used to treat adults and children with Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS), including Familial Cold Auto-inflammatory Syndrome (FCAS) and Muckle Wells Syndrome (MWS). Serious side effects of Arcalyst include Changes in your blood cholesterol and triglycerides (lipids) and allergic reaction.
Are Hives (Urticaria) Contagious?Hives are not contagious are triggered by an allergic response to a substance. Symptoms and signs of hives include a raised, itchy red rash on the skin. An individual should seek medical care for hives if he or she develops dysphagia, wheezing, shortness of breath, or throat tightening.
Can You Live a Long Life With Autoimmune Disease?You may be concerned that your condition will affect your projected lifespan. Most people can expect to live a long life with an autoimmune disease, though.
efgartigimod alfa-fcab (Vyvgart)Vyvgart efgartigimod alfa-fcab injection is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of the autoimmune neuromuscular disease Myasthenia gravis (gMG) in adults who test positive for the antiacetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody. Serious side effects of Vyvgart include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face/lips/tongue/throat, severe dizziness, fever, and sore throat.
Firdapse (amifampridine)Firdapse is a prescription medicine used to treat Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), an autoimmune disease, in adults. It is not known if Firdapse is safe or effective in children. Serious side effects of Firdapse include seizures and serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
Hives (Urticaria)Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin. Most often the cause of hives is unknown. Sometimes it is a sign of an allergic reaction to food or medications, but the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown. Dermatographism and swelling (angioedema) may accompany hives. Treatment to get rid of hives and alleviate symptoms typically includes antihistamines.
Home Allergy Quiz: Is Your Home Allergy Proof?Take this home allergy quiz and test your knowledge on allergens, dust mites, pollens and more to see how allergy-proof your home is.
What Are the Main Causes of Urticaria (Hives)?Hives are mostly an allergic reaction, appearing quickly and disappearing as fast. Learn what causes them, when to see a doctor and how to avoid them.
What Is Causing My Hives?Hives, medically known as urticaria, are common rashes that anyone can get at any point in their lives. They can happen only once in your life, keep happening often, or stay longer (chronic) for more than 6 weeks.