Dermatographia is a condition also known as skin writing. When people who have dermatographia lightly scratch their skin, the scratches redden into a raised wheal similar to hives. These marks usually disappear within 30 minutes.
The cause of dermatographia is unknown, but it can be triggered in some people by infections, emotional upset or medications such as penicillin.
Most people who have dermatographia don't seek treatment. If your signs and symptoms are especially bothersome, your doctor may recommend allergy medications such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
Sept. 04, 2015
- Dice JP, et al. Physical urticarias. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 16, 2015.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Aug. 16, 2015.
- Adkinson NF, et al. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 16, 2015.
- Amin P, et al. Investigation of patient-specific characteristics associated with treatment outcomes for chronic urticaria. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 2015;3:400.