What Are The Causes Of Dermatographia: Its Symptoms And Treatment

With its complex name, dermatographia may seem to be a dreaded disorder, but contrary to the belief, it is a harmless skin condition. In this skin condition, slight scratching or rubbing can produce red raised lines and ridges on the skin surface. After few minutes or an hour, these raised lines usually disappear.

Though not a serious disease, people suffering from it often feel irritated and uncomfortable due to itching. Together with itching there may be associated burning sensation. At least five to ten percent of people are known to suffer from this auto immune skin condition.

Even if the exact cause is not known, researchers believe some triggering causes are responsible for dermatographia. There is no specific treatment needed as the symptoms fade after sometime, but if the patient feels too uncomfortable, his doctor may prescribe antihistamines.

Causes Of Dermatographia

The exact cause of dermatographia is not known. It is believed to be an allergy response to certain triggering factors. These factors cannot be singled out as different people may react to different things.

However, the pathophysiology seems to be same as that of hives formed in urticaria. The skin of such individuals is known to be extremely sensitive. The skin cells will react to external stimulus such as rubbing or scratching and release histamines. Excess of histamine release will lead to inflammation of capillaries (small blood vessels under the skin) and thus red raised lines and ridges form.

The triggering factors include rubbing or scratching. Rubbing with the bed sheet may also cause dermatographia in some cases. Exposure to heat, cold and sunlight may also trigger dermatograhia. People having dry skin are found to be at risk of suffering from this condition. If there is history of allergy such as allergic asthma or allergic cold and cough, person is more susceptible to suffer from this condition.

Hereditary factor cannot be ruled out as in some cases dermatograhia is found to run in family. Psychogenic stresses, especially those due to resentful frustration, emotional stresses such as mental and physical strain of job, domestic and financial worries, fear and fright etc.

Symptoms Of Dermatographia

The characteristic of dermographia is that as soon as you scratch or rub your skin surface, there appear raised red lines. Except this sign, there may not be any symptom noted. But in some people, there may be associated itching, burning and swelling along the lines.

Simple rubbing of skin surface with your hands or clothes and bed sheets may irritate the skin leading to red ridges and lines. Typically, these inflammatory lines may not last longer than 15 to 30 minutes. They disappear without leaving any residual skin problems. If you have dry skin, there is more chance of scratching and rubbing of skin. The condition can become chronic and can frequently appear.

Treatment For Dermatographia

When a person complains of dermatographia, his doctor confirms the diagnosis by simply rubbing a thin object such as tongue depressor across his arm or forearm. If the rubbed skin surface gets swollen and turns into red lines within minutes, the diagnosis is confirmed.

Dermatographia is not a harmful skin disorder. In most cases there is no specific treatment required as the symptoms alleviate after 10 to 15 minutes. However, when the condition becomes a frequent occurrence, and itching and irritation may bother the patient, his doctor may prescribe antihistamines during the time of reactive process.

Antihistamines can give relief to the acute condition but they do not guarantee the cure. Home care measures and alternative treatment in such condition when combined together may be fruitful in a long run. Drink enough water and fluids to keep your skin well hydrated as dry skin may trigger dermatographia.

A person should also use a good moisturizer to keep his skin well hydrated. Avoid contact with harsh soaps and detergents as the chemicals present in them may harm the hypersensitive skin. Eat organic and natural foods since they do not contain pesticides that are known to cause allergic reaction.

There are homeopathic medicines that are known to cure dermatographia. Since homeopathy is a science which relies on individualization, consult a good homeopathic doctor in your vicinity.

Also try yoga and meditation as it helps to get relief from stress and anxiety.

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