Dermatographia is also called skin writing. In the case of dermatographia, your skin turns reddened and may be raised as wheals similar to hives even when slightly scratched. However, these marks would disappear within 30 minutes.

Dermatographia Causes

The main dermatographia cause is not clear, but there are certain triggering factors in some people with infections, emotional upset, or it may also be caused due to medications such as penicillin.

Dermatographia Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of dermatographia may include:

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Hive-like welts
  • Inflammation
  • Raised red marks

These signs and symptoms would occur with rubbing or scratching of the skin and may usually disappear within 30 minutes. In some cases, dermatographia develops more slowly and lasts for several hours to several days. Dermatographia can itself last for months or years.

Risk factors

Dermatographia can occur in people of all the age groups. However, the condition is more pronounced in teenagers and young adults.

Your risk for getting dermatographia is high if you have skin conditions such as dryness and itching.

Medical help

You must call your doctor if the signs and symptoms are troubling you.

You doctor would pose some questions that include:

  • When did you start experiencing the symptoms?
  • Were your symptoms preceded by an illness?
  • How often do you experience the symptoms?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Do you have any other allergies?
  • Do you have a history of dry skin?
  • Do you feel that anything makes your symptoms worse?


A simple test is required to diagnose dermatographia. Your doctor will draw a tongue depressor across the skin of your arm or back to check for redness, swelling or for the appearance of wheals.

Dermatographia Treatment

The symptoms of dermatographia would go away even without treatment. However, if the condition is troublesome, your doctor may recommend medications such as antihistamines for reducing the itching.


Here are the tips that help to reduce discomfort and prevent the symptoms of dermatographia.

  • You must avoid skin irritants such as harsh soaps and avoid wearing clothing that is made of itchy material.
  • You must avoid taking hot baths or showers as this may worsen the symptoms.
  • You must avoid scratching the skin as this may cause further aggravation of the condition.
  • You must always try to keep your skin moist by using lotions and creams after taking a bath.