Autoimmune Condition Cause of Dermatographism
Hi all! I'm a 39 year old female who has suffered from dermatographia all my life. In the past 18 months however, it took on a life of its own. Along with the dermatographia, I also suffer from chronic urticaria (hives), which just appear for no known reason. I have been to an endocrinologist for thyroid testing, gastroenterologist for possible bacterial (h pylori, maybe?) testing, a rheumatologist/immunologist for ANA testing (standard autoimmune testing), dermatologist for biopsy, and 2 allergists for allergy testing. Everything came back negative. I did a food elimination diet and no change. I tried homeopathic remedies and no relief. I have also tried medications such as: Benadryl, Allegra, Zyrtec, Singulair, Zantac, Doxepin, Colchicine, Dapsone, and even high-doses of prednisone, all with no relief.
My allergist finally tested me for a certain antibody (anti-FcE-R1 autoantibody) and it came back with numbers off the chart! The reason none of these medications have worked is because it is an autoimmune disorder so I am basically "allergic" to myself. The "official name" is Chronic Autoimmune Urticaria and since my body makes so many of these antibodies and is so resistant to the standard treatments, when my skin is scratched, my mast cells are in overdrive to begin with so my response is 10x worse. I don't remember being ill, but my doctor says that autoimmune disorders such as this are often triggered by an illness. Those of you for whom the dermatographia began or seemed to worsen after getting sick or being under a lot of stress, it's highly likely it's autoimmune in nature. I think there are only 2 tests available to determine if it actually is, an ASST or the anti-FcE-R1 autoantibody. This will NOT show up on a standard ANA test and only 2 labs in the US do the antibody test.
I will be starting a course of immunosuppressants soon to try and put this into "remission" because it has progressed to the point where even the seams on clothing will cause itchy wheals.
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There are some treatments that may be useful in treating this hives skin problem. See the dermatographism remedy page for more information.