Dermographism Information for Dermographism Patients

by Jason Chung
(Calgary, AB Canada)

I came from South Korea and now live in Calgary, Canada since 2000. Please note that South Korea is a peninsula so it’s more humid there and Calgary is one of the most driest city in the world on the other hand.

In around the summer of 2006, one year after I moved to a new house, I started to have the Dermatography, which is not as severe as others are having but still trouble for me.

It first appeared when I sprayed a mosquito repellent on my arms before I went to the golf course and the day after I cut knee high weeds in my backyard with a trimmer while wearing short pants.

Anyhow, since then I have been researching this problem and here are some findings in terms of ‘root-cause analysis’:

1. Possible cause or what makes the symptoms worse i.e. things that will help

(5%) Humidity Control
i. If your house is dry, you have more chance of scratching your skin.
ii. So, keep it humid at around 50% level or higher if possible.

(10%) Lotions or any products applied to your skin directly or indirectly
i. Wow. I was shocked what I found here. Use ONLY ‘Dermatologist tested’ products!
ii. It seems like those dermatologists know what’s bad for our skin … but how come those products are not available everywhere?
iii. Do not be fooled by what the manufacturers say or the way products look like.
iv. For your information, I use Cetaphil only.

(5%) Hard Water
i. If your water system does not have a water softener, you must have one.

(30%) Chlorine
i. As soon as I installed a chlorine filtering system along with my water softener, I saw a great improvement right away.
ii. This is A MUST to all patients, city dwellers in particular.
iii. Remember, when you swim, the swimming pool also contains a lot of chlorine.

(40%) Dairy products e.g. milk
i. Even organic ones … avoid them. Replace your milk with soy milk (organic and unsweetened).
ii. It seems like the way cows are raised, fed and treated has some kind of relationship to this problem but I cannot prove anything myself.

2. Things to avoid

(5%) Beware of chemicals everywhere!
i. Note that there are a lot of products containing chemicals regardless of their type.
ii. For example, if you read the ingredients carefully when you buy foods, you will be surprised what it contains.
iii. Another example is lip balm, clothing, etc.
iv. Use only organic products and 100% cotton.
v. No Fleece or any other clothing which may cause ESD (Electric Static Discharge) or sparks in easy terms.

(5%) Possibly due to the strong Sun (UV) – information can be found through web surfing.
i. Of course, it’s much stronger in Canada than South Korea … but how can you cope with it?
ii. Possibly, apply UV cream or wear long sleeve shirts only.

This information is what I have found so far.

My observation and conclusion is that something is causing my skin temperature to go higher and thus triggering this skin condition.

Therefore you have to avoid whatever does this to your skin, directly or indirectly.

I will try to update whenever I find more information.


Jason Chung

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