Dermatographia: cause , symptoms ,cures , prevention and science behind it

👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 Feb 22 2019    📁 Fix    📜 0 comment

Dermatographia made with two words where "derma" means "Skin" and "graphia" means "writing", so we can call it just skin writing. Actually, Dermatographia is a kind of skin disorder in which lightly scratching your skin causes red lines where you have scratched. And these scratches are temporary and will last up to around 30 minutes only.

This condition is also called dermatographic urticaria or dermographism.

A person suffering from dermatographia have very sensitive skins and reacts even to the pressure.

Also, some research says females may be more slightly affected than males. 

Science Behind Dermatographia

When the victim scratches his skin then first the receptor of mast cells(skin-resident cells: which protect against pathogens acting as defence system) just underneath the skin will cause the release of histamines into the bloodstream. Due to the lack of antigens histamine causes the skin to swell in affected areas.  If the membrane that surrounds the mast cells is too weak it will easily and rapidly break down under physical pressure, which then causes an allergic-like reaction.

Signs and Symptoms:

1. Redness, Itching and swelling in the various degree which differs from person to person. And it causes this reaction without any reason

2. Raised marks on the skin that looks like writing.

3. Not painful but Inflammation

Infected Population Size

There are about 2-5 % population affecting by this disease. 

Cures for Dermographia

1. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl ) and cetirizine(Zyrtec) (source). It can be used to treat patients, which prevent the eruptions from appearing.

2. Acupuncture treatments are also used.

3. Biodegradable and hypoallergenic soaps can also be used.

Possible Victims of Dermatographia

Dermographia can appear at any age but is most common in young adults in their 20's to 30's. If you have other skin conditions, such as dry skin or dermatitis, you may be more susceptible to dermatographia.


Dermatographia generally is harmless. Also doesn't spread from one person to another.


Patients are advised to

1) Avoid bathing in hot water instead of taking cool or lukewarm showers.

2) Moisturize your skin daily,  especially after bathing. Use lotion and creams for moisturizing.

3) Manage your stress.

4) Take adequate sleep

5) Yoga and Meditation can alleviate a stressful lifestyle.

6) Choose loose and comfortable clothing. Wool and synthetic material are common skin irritants.

7) Maintaining a healthy diet

8) Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water

9) Avoiding processed foods like red meat, fried foods.

Dermatographia Diet

The diet you intake directly affect your health. For having good health proper diet should be followed. You must intake the low-histamine diet for improving your derma related problem. If you are the victim then you must reduce intake of processed foods, citric foods, fermented alcoholic beverages walnuts, peanuts, vinegar-containing foods like pickles and olives.

Question and Answer Round:

Is Dermatographia painful ?

Ans: No, Dermatographia is not painful at all.

What are the cause of Dermatographia?

Ans: Actual cause is unknown but following are believed to be a cause of it.

a) Physical activities involving excessive skin rubbing

b) Certain medications, including penicillin, may develop dermatographia.

c) Emotional distress may also be the prominent cause of dermatographia.

This information is solely for informational purposes and consults the allergist or dermatologist for detail.