My 22-month-old granddaughter has recently been diagnosed with skin writing disease or dermographism by her pediatrician. Her parents noticed that all of sudden, out of the blue, whenever they touched her body, she developed redness under the skin. However, she does not have any welts, hives, or itchiness, just the redness under the skin. She is not uncomfortable at all. They could not think of anything new in her diet or her environment. I am wondering if this is a correct diagnosis since she is not experiencing all of the symptoms. Can a person have this skin writing disease and experience different levels of symptoms and their severity?
Frances – November 25, 2007
The first time I noticed my hives in Oct of 05, I did not think too much of it. I thought maybe I had eaten something or used some laundry detergent that caused it until the hives kept happening. I have been to the emergency room numerous times and all they give me is Claritin or Benadryl. One time, I was in training in New Mexico to go to Iraq and had to be rushed to the emergency room because I was covered in hives head to toe and I had a fever of 103 degrees F. After this incident, I did not see the hives until last month. I plan to make an appointment, but from the blogs I see it looks like I am going to be wasting my time. This skin condition is very miserable to have. Claritin and Benadryl temporarily help, but the skin writing problem always comes back.
Tonya – November 24, 2007
I found out today that I have Dermagraphism or skin writing disease. I have been trying for four months to figure out why my whole body was breaking out in hives. I thought it was a food allergy because it came every time after I ate. So, I thought I was allergic to MSG. I had the allergy tests done on my back today and I am allergic to some foods, but that wasn't what was causing it. My hives were constant unless I took a Zyrtec pill, which works great. The doctor diagnosed me with skin writing hives (dermagraphism) and I was registered because it is such a rare disease. Only 2-5% of the world has it. I want to thank you for making this site. I don't feel so much like a loner.
Niki – November 23, 2007
I am now 48 and first noticed this skin writing condition when I was a teenager. I would get huge hives or welts on my thighs. The first time it happened we thought a spider might have bitten me because the welt was about 6 inches by 10 inches in size and was raised up very high. Over time, it got to where it was continuous. It would happened when I got in the bath or shower. I would get small mosquito bite looking bumps. It would happen if I changed clothes and got cold. I would itch like crazy and then when I scratched, my whole leg would become one size all the way down and be very hot and stiff.
Sometimes I would use a hairbrush to scratch my skin because it got so bad. My kids, when they were little, would write their name on my leg and watch their name grow. They thought it was funny and would show it to their friends. I do not like to complain to doctors, so I just went on about my business - scratching and putting up with the hives all the time.
Finally, my husband said I should talk to my doctor about it. He said it was the worst case of skin writing or dermatographism he had ever seen when he made an X on my back. He said he wished that he had a camera. He put me on Zyrtec and it has been a lifesaver. I did not realize how bad I felt until I felt better! If I miss a day, I can hardly stand it now. Sometimes my doctor is slow to call in my refill and I think I am going to go crazy on the days I am without it.
I still have some itching, but nothing like the hives and welts without the Zyrtec. I get small blister like things on my wrists. Before I realize what I have done, I will scratch them and they make a sore. They also leave a little scar each time. I have a lot of little dotted scars on my arms. Sometimes the same thing will happen on my ankles. Until the doctor told me it was a something real, I just thought it was the way I was and went on about my business. When I started looking at the internet about skin writing disease, I was amazed that other people actually have this too.
Pam – Novermber 1, 2007
Just this year I was diagnosed with Dermatographism or skin writing disease. For almost half a year, my family doctor just thought I had sensitive skin, which is true. I always have had sensitive skin, but he would not believe me when I said how bad the itching had gotten. I never had the breakouts and hives when I scratched and never felt itching like this before. Yet he just kept telling me to use a humidifier, creams and drink water.
Obviously it didn't work and so I persisted and finally got Apo-Hydroxizine. It does help. I can tell the difference after a couple of days being off of it. My skin definitely gets itchy, but I'm still lost as to what simple and normal tasks I should do now.
One of the biggest things is shaving. Should I shave? Wax? What irritates the skin less? Scraping a metal blade against your leg, or ripping the hairs and probably skin along with it?
I'm glad I found this site though, I've been looking for others dealing with this because I'm really alone in my home with this problem.
Shazz - October 22, 2007