What is Dermatographic Urticaria?

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There are a number of different skin conditions that can send a person to a dermatologist clinic over the course of their lives, ranging from benign problems like acne to more serious disorders like skin cancer. However, few are as strange as dermatographic urticaria, also known as dermographism, dermatographism or “skin writing”. Dermatographic urticaria is seen in roughly 4-5% of the world’s population and causes the skin to become red and inflamed when it is touched. Many people with the condition can even draw or write legible patterns or messages on their skin, a fact which gave rise to its more colloquial nickname. But what causes the skin problem, and what dermatographic urticaria treatments are available to help those with this disorder?

Dermatographic Urticaria Causes
The exact cause of dermatographic urticaria isn’t known, although the symptoms are believed to be caused by mast cells with weak membranes on the skin’s surface, which release histamines without the presence of antigens. This causes the skin to swell in welt-like patterns similar to an allergic reaction. Typically, the welts will disappear within 15-30 minutes, but in some cases, they can remain for days.


Symptoms of dermatographic urticaria can be triggered by anxiety, physical stress, temperature changes, clothing, bed sheets, glasses, and more. The condition has also been reported to grow worse after prolonged exposure to microwaves. While it can be effectively treated, dermatographic urticaria is often a life-long condition and as many as 5% of chronic cases are never resolved.

Dermatographic Urticaria Treatments
Because the symptoms themselves typically disappear on their own, dermatographic urticaria treatments may not be necessary for some patients. Others, however, will benefit from taking antihistamine medications to block the reaction, especially if the patient experienced itching. Patients are also advised to avoid their triggers whenever possible, which might include skipping hot and eschewing tight clothing. However, the best steps and dermatographic urticaria treatment will likely be identified by a dermatologist specialist; if you have this condition and are looking for a solution, make an appointment with a local dermatologist today. This is a great source for more.

Health NewsWhat is Dermatographic Urticaria?

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