Derma means skin and dermatographism is skin writing. It is nothing but light scratches on the skin in the form of raised red colored hives. These scratches are not permanent and often they will go away within few minutes. This type of skin scratches can occur due to side effects of drugs or when the person is emotionally upset or due to infections. No special treatment is needed for dermatographism.
Some of the signs of dermatographism are formation of raised red colored lines on the skin, light swelling on the surface of the skin, and build-up of hive like welts. For some people these patches may cause itching which can affect the entire body.
Depending on the nature of scratches dermatographism can be classified into many types.
Red dermatographism : This is the most common type which develops as small raised scratches on the skin which occurs on trunk.
Follicular dermatographism : This type causes specific prominent follicular papules on the skin with a well defined background.
Cholinergic dermatographism : This is somewhat large embedded with punctuate wheals resembling urticaria.
Delayed dermatographism : In this type papules develop after several hours of initial response forming deep wheal like structure.
It is not known what exactly causes dermatographism. It can be due to side effects of medications, response to allergic reactions and any other factor that triggers allergy. Often young people who are in teens are diagnosed with this problem.
Your doctor can easily detect dermatogrphia by physical examination. No particular test is needed. However for some people, a tongue depressor is placed on the skin to identify specific defined red lines or welt.
Dermatographia does not need any treatment since it often disappears within few minutes or hours. In case you have skin irritation then you can take Benadryl or Allegra or Cetrizine. It is enough if you avoid stimulants that trigger formation of such lines on your skin. Individuals with dry skin are at increased risk of developing this problem due to skin itching.
For severe cases your doctor may prescribe antihistamines. Depending on the intensity of the symptoms you need to continue the medication for few days. For people who are diagnosed with urticaria corticosteroids are given. Nowadays light therapy is highly effective for treating dermatographism. Narrowband of ultraviolet rays are passed into the affected areas of the skin which would considerably reduce the wheals or welts. This therapy can be combined with medications like Loratadine or Clarinex or Xyzal which is used for treating allergies.
Pictures of Dermatographism :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Dermatographism
Avoid using harsh soaps and harsh creams on your skin which may produce skin irritation. Avoid wearing tight clothes and choose the dress that makes you comfortable. Do not take hot showers when you have skin irritation since it does more harm than good. It is natural to rub the skin when you feel like itching but try to control scratching which may worsen the symptoms. For people with dry skin, it is wise to use moisturizers daily to keep your skin soft and rejuvenated.