Skin care: Dermatographia also called skin-writing
What Is Dermatographia?
Dermatographia, which is sometimes called “skin writing” refers to a condition in which seemingly minor scratches turn into temporary but significant reactions. This condition is also called dermographism or dermatographic urticaria. Approximately 5 percent of people have this condition, and it’s most common in older children and younger adults.
Scratches can irritate your skin, but they tend to heal quickly. Some scratches are white against the skin, while others redden slightly. With dermatographia though, the scratches worsen, causing deep wounds or even allergy-like reactions.
Dermatographia (skin writing) is most often treated with antihistamines to reduce itchiness and overall discomfort. There’s no cure for this condition, although the symptoms don’t last long. Rare cases require more in-depth medical treatment from a dermatologist.
Symptoms of dermatographia
Signs of dermatographia occur when your skin gets scratched. Symptoms don’t appear on their own. Instead, these are reactions to scratches themselves. These symptoms can appear for the first time without warning.
The symptoms of dermatographia (Skin Writing) may include:
- raised marks on the skin that look like writing
- deep wounds
- welts that look like hives
Symptoms usually last for about 30 minutes at a time.
In rare cases, symptoms last for a day or longer. However, the condition of dermographism itself can last for months or years.
Symptoms may also worsen in extreme temperatures. Hot and cold, dry weather can increase the incidence of dermographism. Warm water from hot showers, baths, and saunas can also aggravate symptoms.
Treatment of dermatographia (Skin Writing)
Symptoms of dermatographia usually go away on their own, and treatment for dermatographia generally isn’t necessary. However, if the condition is severe or bothersome, your doctor may recommend antihistamine medications such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), fexofenadine (Allegra) or cetirizine (Zyrtec).
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