dermatographism

Fun fact about myself!
In 2010, I was diagnosed with dermatographism, a skin condition in which my skin swells and reddens in direct response to scratches (literally means “ability to write/draw on skin”). Sometimes, the result closely resembles a white ink tattoo. Not as severe as it was years ago, my dermatographism is only present during the winter and/or severely cold weather. For fun, I decided to draw a pair of roses using a toothpick :{D

Dermatographism - “skin writing” means my skin raises up and turns red when I scratch or apply strong pressure to it. It doesn’t hurt, or itch, it just lasts about 15 minutes and then goes down. It can be a real pain for me because obviously it looks gnarly but also shows up whenever I unintentionally scratch myself. But hey, I learned something about myself. Anyone else have this? 

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Dermatomes of the Adult Male

A dermatome is an area of the body supplied by a single spinal nerve ganglion. Physical sensations (and as such, autonomic/spinal reactions) are controlled by these nerves.

Technically “dermatome” only refers to the skin supplied by that nerve (derma - “skin”, -tome “single section”), but as the lower graphics show, we’ve also determined what nerves control the sensations of our muscles.

As you can see in the graphic of the trigeminal nerve innervation at the top, there’s a moderate amount of variation between individuals, but the basic layout is generally the same.

Because the basic layout of our nerves is known, when someone damages a nerve, which nerve has been damaged can sometimes be determined by what area of the skin has abnormal sensations. A few years ago, I damaged my elbow at work, and it was determined that my ulnar nerve had been affected, due to the lower third of my arm and hand being numb. Thankfully it’s since recovered, but in some situations, nerve damage can cause permanent altering of sensation in the parts of the body affected.

Atlas of Applied (Topographical) Human Anatomy for Students and Practitioners. J. Howell Evans, 1906.

THIS PIC IS VERY PERSONAL AND I REALLY JUST WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THIS
this is my skin condition, dermatographia. a lot of people call it “skin writing” or “skin art”. it will break out into rashes and burn at the slightest touch, rub, bump. and yet people think it’s so cute! it’s adorable! u can draw on yourself?! I should write my name!!! u know what’s not cute? the hours of sleep I’ve lost because of this burning sensation all over my back, my face, my neck, my chest, my stomach, my shoulders, my arms. i am uncomfortable every single day because of this. i can’t be comfortable at work because my bra touched my back a weird way so now my entire body burns! this is not cute. I hate everything about this condition and how nobody speaks about how uncomfortable it is, but how adorable it is that you can draw flowers on yourself or musical notes. it’s not fun. it is not fun in the slightest.

Démence Précoce Catatonique Dermographisme. L Trepsat, 1893. From ‘Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpêtrière’, 1904.

Dermatographism or skin writing is a late 19th century phenomena that was considered to be linked with the sickness of hysteria and other mental/nervous illnesses.  Dermatographism is a common type of urticaria where the skin becomes raised, red, rashy when touched or harmed in anyway, it can occur as soon as the skin it touched. In this photo we have the patient who has had her diagnosis written on to her back, her symptom being demence precoce or  dementia praecox. 

Attention All Skin Writers,

I ripped this off a Facebook page about Dermatographia. I’ve noticed that a lot of people on here (especially those without the symptoms of itchness) self-diagnose themselves without needing to see a doctor. Great! Dermatographia is very distinctive, so it’s a good thing you’ve identified the cause.

But before you get too comfy living with this, PLEASE run a blood-test with your doctor just as a precautionary measure if you haven’t done so already. It’s rarely the case, but goodness knows, the LAST thing we want would be to pass up on a diagnosis of a more serious condition such as Hashimoto’s, thyroid cancer, or Lyme Disease.

From the Facebook page:

Dermatographism is NOT an allergy. Humans have mast cells below our skin which contain histamine. People with dermatographism have mast cells with very weak cell membranes. When our skin is scratched or pressure is applied, the mast cells leak histamine into the areas that are touched producing redness, itch, and raised hive-like marks where touched. The only cure would be to find a way to strengthen our mast cell walls. It should be noted that weak mast cell walls can, in some cases, be a symptom of an underlying immune system problem. We urge you to check with your doctor. For all others, it’s just an uncomfortable nuisance.

This is life with dermatographism.

Dermatographism, also known as dermagraphism (literally, skin writing), is a type of chronic hive condition. Any kind of pressure - scratching, elastic from clothing, rubbing, or even a slap - can trigger an outbreak.

I have had it for around 3 years. I forgot to take my meds yesterday because I didn’t feel well, and then made the mistake of leaning my arm against my desk mere minutes ago. The bumps on the left are also hives, caused by my rubbing my arm.

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Dermatographic urticaria (also known “skin writing”) is a skin disorder seen in 4–5% of the population and is one of the most common types of urticaria in which the skin becomes raised and inflamed when stroked, scratched, rubbed, and sometimes even slapped.

The symptoms are thought to be caused by mast cells in the surface of the skin releasing histamines without the presence of antigens, due to the presence of a weak membrane surrounding the mast cells. This weak membrane easily and rapidly breaks down under physical pressure causing an allergic-like reaction.
text source
first photo Photo by Wikipedia

Also, my long time followers will remember I had this more than a year ago! The pictures (minus the first one) are of me (sorry if they’re gross)

I’ve been getting these weird welts around my body whenever I get scratched. I thought this whole month, I was getting some sort of allergic reaction to something.. Guess not!

2 days ago, I finally went to the doctors. My mom was pretty worried about me, along with the rest of the family. The welts would appear everywhere and disappear within 30 minutes; they appeared on my back, arms, legs, everywhere. They sometimes get real itchy too.. I just thought I was allergic to something I didn’t know about, HAHAH. After describing to my doctor about what I’ve been experiencing this month, he told me he’d like to try something. Using his nail, he scratched his name on my right arm. Within 5 minutes, his name appeared. I was in awe, but at the same time, I was pretty scared too, HAHAH.

I have dermatographism, or skin-writing allergy/disease/disorder, whatever you wanna call it. It’s a rare condition. No one really knows the cause of it right now, but receiving minor scratches can cause the welts to appear. It’s not contagious, or bad (according to my doctor & research), but it can be genetically passed down. Apparently, my mom doesn’t have it nor my sister, sooo I’m not sure how I got it!

After watching The Avengers (FOR THE 2ND TIME, HEHEH) with Kate (katiekuns), Hanh (hanhhsolo), & Alex, I told Hanh to attempt to draw the Captain America shield on my right arm (reference to a scene in the movie). Thaaat’s pretty much what it looks like, HAHAH. If you look closely, she drew wings on my back also. We weren’t sure if my face would show up the welts, so she drew a heart on my face, & it appeared.. IS THIS WEIRD OR. PLEASE DON’T BE SCARED OF ME, GUISE. I’M STILL THE SAME OL’ JENNY.

Temporary tats all day errday.. WHOOT?

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So I have a thing called dermatographia and what happens is the slightest little scratch leaves a red mark on my skin and it goes away within 20-30 minutes. It can be a little embarrassing sometimes but it really helps me from doing hurtful things to myself. Lately I have been writing and drawing little messages like this on the side of and on my thighs. Because everyone needs to be reminded things like this every now and then! 

Love Yourself  ^-^ 

I decided to look up the skin disorder I just got diagnosed with. Dermatographism. Here on tumblr I see people that are glad they have it and are basically glorifying it. In fact, one person went as far as to say they were sad when it wasn’t flaring up as much. I want to punch those people. Its not fun, its fucking miserable. I’m surprised people think it’s fun to literally itch all the time. Get real.