I have had dermatographism and this itchy skin rash problem since 2001 when I was in the Army. The doctors told me it would only last two years. I am so miserable. I have tried every anti-histamine there is to relieve the itching and swelling. My biggest problem now is paper products. As soon as I come in contact with paper products, I automatically break out into hives. I can't take hot showers, I can't wear a bra with wire or rubber in it, I can't wear underwear with rubber around the legs, and I can't wear rubber gloves.
I have to be careful when I take off my lipstick because if I rub too hard my lips will break out. I cannot wipe off too hard with the towel after taking a shower or I will break out. I cannot touch curtains, chairs with fabric on them, or just about anything.
I have to wear long sleeves all year round because if anything rubs up against my skin the itchy skin rash will appear. I am about to lose my mind. I have been to so many dermatologists, and specialists, and I have taken a lot of blood tests, allergy tests, and still no cure. The only thing that keeps me calm is benadryl, believe it or not.
Renee - March 27, 2008
I am 16 years old and I have had the itchy skin rash writing condition since I can remember. I do not mind having this skin problem, because it only shows when I scratch, when I touch, or when I slap the skin. The only problem I have with this is that my friends like too scratch me for fun, because they know I will blow up and I will get red. lol
Chloe - March 31, 2008
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I just went to see a dermatologist last week and she did not diagnose me with dermographism (dermatographism itchy skin rash), but I know that this is what I have based upon my own research. She did rub my upper back with something at my appointment, but said nothing happened. However, I just now etched some letters onto my arm with a pencil eraser and they are showing up bright red and raised. She has started me on a prescription antihistamine and a prescription itch cream - neither of which, by the way, are working thus far for my itch skin rash. I have changed soaps, lotions, and shampoos, all to no avail. My PCP has diagnosed me with stress-related hives, which is why I was sent to the dermatologist.
My arms and legs are covered with disgusting scabs from my scratching. When I scratch or even rub an itchy skin rash area, I then get bright red raised lines that will also start to itch. I get it on my jaw line, down my neck, and on my back, and it seems to be primarily on the left side of my body. I do have it on the right.
I am so embarrassed that I cannot even wear shorts at the gym and I hate having my arms exposed. I also seem to break out in hives or an itchy skin rash after being in the sun too.
I am happy to see that I am not alone. I did not even hear about this until I saw it on the news over the weekend.
Joanne - March 18, 2008
People do not know if this itchy skin rash and dermographism is passed down from generation to generation. I am here to say it is. Every female (11) in my family has this disease. My son is the first boy to have it passed down to him. We have lived with this our whole lives.
I was the first to find out what this was. The doctor was doing a nerve test on me and when my skin started to rise he was confused. Then he figured out what it was and called every nurse in the room to see it. I was the first person he had ever seen it on.
The itchy skin rash disease for my family has been passed on and never goes away. I often get embarrassed when I get hot and my face gets welts. I often hide. But now I have gotten use to it. I quit sports because every time someone would even touch me I would welt.
Please I need help with this. Is there a solution study group or something? I do not want my kids to go through this embarrassment.
Chelley - March 15, 2008
I was under great stress at my job five years ago and a strange itchy skin rash started. I had no idea what it was, but it occurred everyday along with flushing of my face. I finally asked my doctor and he said it was no big deal and offered me no advice or prescription, but instead recommended to me to retire. I did not have nearly enough years and of course I do not make the kind of money he does.
So here I am five years later with this crappy hives problem and the horrible feeling of it throughout every day. I have not had one day of relief from this itchy skin rash. I feel I will be living with this the rest of my life. The only other thing that happened at the same time it started is my son came back from Iraq. I had wondered about the anthrax shot he had. Oh well whatever causes it, it is very bothersome.
Jane - March 15, 2008
I am 28 years old and I have been dealing with this itchy skin rash and dermatographism condition my entire life. I hate it so much when people (even friends who KNOW about it) say things like "Just stop scratching yourself, look at your arm you have mangled it!" In reality I had not even noticed that I scratched. I try very hard to be careful when I am at work so that I don't scratch my face.
I have to put my makeup on about 10 or 15 minutes before I actually leave my room because my face gets so red and puffy.
I mean it's a harmless condition, really. It is just more embarrassing than anything and people never understand that it has nothing to do with how hard you scratch.
I have sensitivity to hot water as well. I do not know if it's related because to be honest I have never really done a whole lot of research.
Lisa - March 15, 2008
When I scratch my skin it turns red and pops up. The hives pop up even with hits or scratches that don't even hurt. I did not know what this skin problem was until today . I actually discovered it by accident when I was looking up something about water allergies.
It really amazes my friends, but sometimes it is frustrating for me such as when I get hit with a ball or something else on my face. There would be a mark left behind that made my face look horrible. Sometimes I am glad I have dermatographism because my friends and other people think it is amazing, but other times I think its just really annoying when it just pops up and starts to burn and I do not intend for it to.
Anonymous - March 13, 2008
On September 24, 2007, I had neck fusion surgery. On September 25, 2007, I had the stress of the neck surgery coupled with a horrible itchy skin rash, now better known to me as dermatographism. I have been to the allergist several times and he has done all sorts of tests, and has yet to come to any conclusion. He calls it hives, but after looking it up on the web, and seeing pictures of this, I now know what it really is.
It was so bad for four months that I was literally using a steak knife to scratch myself. The itchy skin rash afflicted my whole self, except for my face. I have had several surgeries in the past few years, some elective, and some not. I suspect that this chronic itching I have is a direct result of the physiological trauma to my body, as a result of too much physical stress from all these surgeries.
I have never had allergies in my life, and don't presume to have more stress in my life than the average person. Like I said, the day after the neck surgery is when this problem started. Like you, the doctor cannot trace the origin of my problem, nor does he give much hope for it to go away for a long time. If anyone else has had a similar reaction, please let me know by posting to this list. Thanks
Debra - March 7, 2008
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