My doctor recently diagnosed me with dermagraphism even though I don't get the welts. I typically get itchy randomly throughout the day. I typically get itchy when I wear a sweater, but then I take it off when I leave work and the itching subsides. Most of the time the itchiness starts with my face. Sometimes my hair irritates my face, but then there are parts of my face that get itchy without anything touching it (like eye lids or under my eyes, my nose, and the sides of my face). Many times I also get itchy on my torso or my waist, and on my legs and butt, but like this blog implies it's probably because of my fitted clothing.
Most of what I read on this site is accurate, but again I don't get the welts or hives much. When I wake up in the morning I do have these small red blotches on my forearm (see very mild version shown on the attached photograph), but it is not raised and they usually go away pretty quick. I also get really itchy when I workout and sweat. When I shave and cross my legs, the prickliness of the hairs touching my skin even irritates me.
I also try not to scratch, but rather rub the itchy areas so perhaps this is why I don't get the welts. I guess what I am asking is if the hives/welts have to be present to be considered dermagraphism?
If the doctor has diagnosed you, then he is likely correct. All your symptoms seem consistent with the dermatographism problem. In some people the reaction is milder and the welting does not always occur. Sometimes only redness or itchiness or pin prick feeling or a combination of some or all of these. For others, very light pressure will cause huge welts.
So to answer your question, the welts are not always present. Some dermatographism suffers when being treated with antihistamines only get redness with no welting. So it may be related to the amount of histamine your body is producing - not enough to cause the welts.
Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Dermographism Questions and Answers.