- Dermatography photo
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Dermatography is a condition also known as skin writing. When people with dermatography scratch their skin lightly, the scratching turns into a raised papule that resembles beehives. These marks usually go away within 30 minutes.
- The cause of dermatography is unknown, but in some people it can be triggered by infections, emotional disorders, or drugs such as penicillin.
- Most people with dermatography don’t seek treatment. If your signs and symptoms are particularly bothersome, your doctor may recommend allergy medications such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
Signs and symptoms of dermatography can include:
- Raised red lines
- Beehive-shaped piping
- Signs and symptoms can appear within a few minutes of rubbing or scratching your skin, and usually go away within 30 minutes.
The exact cause of the dermatography is unclear. It can be caused by an allergic reaction, but no specific allergens have been identified.
Simple things can trigger symptoms of dermatography. For example, rubbing your clothes or bedding can irritate your skin. Sometimes dermatography is preceded by an infection, an emotional disorder, or medication such as penicillin.
Dermatography can occur at any age, but is more common in adolescents and young adults. If you have other skin conditions such as dry skin or dermatitis, you may be more sensitive to dermatography. Any skin condition that is common for scratching can increase your risk.
Try the following tips to reduce discomfort and prevent symptoms of dermatography:
- Avoid skin irritation. Avoid harsh soaps on your skin. Do not wear clothing made of itchy materials, such as wool. Hot showers or baths can make symptoms worse.
- Don’t scratch your skin. If you have a dermatogram or other skin conditions that can be itchy frequently, avoid scratching your skin. Scratches worsen the condition.
- Keep your skin hydrated. Dry skin tends to be itchy skin. Keep your skin hydrated with lotions and creams after bathing.