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    Old 08-28-2006, 11:44 PM   #1
    jessica805
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    Question Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    I've always been very healthy... had allergic reaction to pollen...but never thought I had any allergies to food. I woke up last Tuesday being very itchy... it started out with my head, arms, neck, shoulders then back to my head. It just kept going. I went to my doctor, and he tested for my general health and everything was normal. So we decided to test to see if I have any allergies to a few things that I ate over the weekend.

    We tested for crab, shrimp and peanuts. I have a feeling I might be allergic to crab. Everytime I ate crab, my body usually tensed up, then my whole body got tingly then sort of stung a bit. My mom also got this way, so I didn't think anything of it. I had crab & shrimp on Saturday.. .and my symptoms started happening on Tuesday.. aren't allergic reactions pretty instant? Or can it happen a couple of days later?

    Anyway, for the time being, he prescribed me some medrol... and I've been taking this for 4 days now, and it hasn't helped. I itch heavily at night, but in the day time.. I can control it by taking claritin. When I scratch, bump into something, or wear tighter clothing... it leaves a wheal on my skin that lasts for about 30 minutes. As the wheal forms, it starts itching for about couple minutes and swells up. I heard this was called Dermagraphism. Can this be treated? I read a lot of postings saying that this will stay with you forever. Is this true? Why does this happen all of sudden?

    This is really upsetting... and frustrating. Is there something that's worked for anyone out there that's had Dermagraphism?

     
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    Old 08-29-2006, 07:33 AM   #2
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    My daughter itched a lot from an allergy to lotion (might want to consider your soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.) and she also itched a lot with a wheat allergy. In our family we are allergic to the fragrance, propylene glycol, and formaldehyde (has a few different names) which is in soaps, lotions, shampoos, and conditioners.

     
    Old 08-31-2006, 09:39 AM   #3
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jessica805
    I've always been very healthy... had allergic reaction to pollen...but never thought I had any allergies to food. I woke up last Tuesday being very itchy... it started out with my head, arms, neck, shoulders then back to my head. It just kept going. I went to my doctor, and he tested for my general health and everything was normal. So we decided to test to see if I have any allergies to a few things that I ate over the weekend.

    We tested for crab, shrimp and peanuts. I have a feeling I might be allergic to crab. Everytime I ate crab, my body usually tensed up, then my whole body got tingly then sort of stung a bit. My mom also got this way, so I didn't think anything of it. I had crab & shrimp on Saturday.. .and my symptoms started happening on Tuesday.. aren't allergic reactions pretty instant? Or can it happen a couple of days later?

    Anyway, for the time being, he prescribed me some medrol... and I've been taking this for 4 days now, and it hasn't helped. I itch heavily at night, but in the day time.. I can control it by taking claritin. When I scratch, bump into something, or wear tighter clothing... it leaves a wheal on my skin that lasts for about 30 minutes. As the wheal forms, it starts itching for about couple minutes and swells up. I heard this was called Dermagraphism. Can this be treated? I read a lot of postings saying that this will stay with you forever. Is this true? Why does this happen all of sudden?

    This is really upsetting... and frustrating. Is there something that's worked for anyone out there that's had Dermagraphism?
    Oh Jessica, do I know what you are going through!!! I have a feeling that I have the same thing, although I believe most of mine is delayed pressure uticaria. I have numerous doctors tell me there's nothing that can be done other than taking an oral antihistamine to keep them at bay. Mine is strictly at night. Whatever way my sheets/pajamas are, I get red, long welts that itch in the same pattern and on the same side of my body I sleep on. If I don't take Claritin, then I get little welts all over the inside of my thighs and arms. They just *appeared* overnight for me back in February and have never left

     
    Old 08-31-2006, 06:52 PM   #4
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Turns out I'm not allergic to crab, shrimp or peanuts. They say I might not be allergic to crab, but they do have a lot of toxin. And I guess you can get hives due to a lot of toxin in your body.

    I'm done taking the medrol. I guess it helped a little.. the swelling on my face & eyes did go down after taking them. I went to my doctor again, and now I'm on an anti-depressant called doxepin for 2 weeks. He also gave me a higer dose of prenisone, which I'll start taking this weekend.

    I feel like I got a bit better.. I'm not as itchy during the day & evening, but that can be due to claritin. My doctor told me that 20% of the population have dermagraphism in their lifetime. Some will last longer than others.. but from the 20%... about 5% of them have it for a long time (meaning longer than 6 weeks.. up to years). I'm hoping I'm not in that 5%...

    Anyway, it would really help if anyone of you would write back with your experience with dermagraphism.. and what you did about it. Thank you.

     
    Old 01-21-2007, 12:19 PM   #5
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Well I have the same dermagraphism as the rest of you all and I too have yet to find out what caused it. I have spent soo much money on antihistmines as well as anti anxiety medicine. I am very upset because this will not go away. I am taking zyrtec, atarax and was at one time taking xanax. Everywhere I touch turns red and wheals up. I itch more at night or when I get hot than during any other time. I thought my acrylic nails were the culprit, but once they were taken off nothing changed other than now I am scratching with nubs not nails. Anyways, My doctor told me to also start taking pepcid ac to cover the histamines my stomach lets off due to a possible food I am eating that I have an allergy to. I was also encouraged to start a food diary to keep up with what foods I have eaten and possibly start eliminating them. I got new detergent, and fabric softener sheets that are free and clear supposedly. I guess through prayer and time one day this will go away. It it doesn't, I can only imagine the money I will have dumped into the medicine in the mean time as well as all the alternate products that I will try to see if this will eliminate the culprit. Good luck to the rest of you,
    Jen

     
    Old 01-22-2007, 07:02 AM   #6
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Jen, there is an allergy shot which will rid you of all allergies (foods, inhalants, and chemicals). It is called LDA (Low Dose Allergen) therapy. My daughter and I both got it and it is GREAT!

     
    Old 02-05-2007, 06:43 PM   #7
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    I've had chronic hives for 4+ years.. i take antihistamines at least 3 times a week for hives.. but it keeps them under control

    I didn't have luck with allergy testing either. No allergies other than grass and dust. But I started to see a naturopath and after doing the food elimination diet we figured out Pork, Eggs and most Fruit cause me to break out into hives. if i don't eat them i can be mostly hive free.. but sometimes i get break outs and i can't figure i've eaten anything (like today) so i just keep taking the antihistamines. I went to two allergists who were fairly certian i had "autoimune hives" and both were confident they will eventually go away.. but aftter so many years I am still waiting.

    before i get the hives come up i will feel really itchy and then where i itch they come up (like dermotographism) but then they willl stay up and spread.. from what i've learned most people prone to hives develop multiple types... I also get swelling in my lips (deep tissue hives).

    Good luck hope you are able to get them under control. Be careful with prednisone that stuff is awful for the side effects.! I have had luck in the past with claritan (it doesn't work for me anymore) and now i am on prescription REactine..

     
    Old 02-05-2007, 09:40 PM   #8
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Hello all on this board......I am new to this allergy board but not to health boards.......I thought I would look up allergies tonight because recently my allergies have flared ....I put it to recently having surgery.......a trauma to my body.........

    I have had chronic hives for the last 15 years.......some years were really bad, one year - really a whole year I was covered with hives........I have had all of the tests, been tested at big medical centers.......final word.......
    I have pressure induced hives......any pressure on my skin and a hive will flare up......any trauma to my body - I get hives.......lots of drug allergies....and food allergies....I have found that Prednisone is a very bad drug with lots of side effects........try not to take it .......

    STRESS CAN CAUSE ALOT OF ALLERGIES.......I PERSONALLY FOUND THAT AN ANTI-DEPRESSANT HELPS ALOT....TAGAMET HAS AN H2 INHIBITOR AND IS OVER THE COUNTER.......COLD WATER OR AN ICE PACK ON HIVES CAN HELP......

    I am currently in a phase of the last 3 or 4 years of not having hardly any hives...........thank God........it seems to come in cycles.......and your body can get caught in a cycle .........do what it takes to break the cycle.......I too found that "talking to my body" can help..........sounds crazy but I had to find a way to deal with it.......Relaxation either on your own or medically induced you have to relax........It may take years to find a "formula" that works for you ..........ALLERGIES ARE REALLY STILL A MYSTERY TO THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY........

     
    Old 02-10-2007, 11:50 AM   #9
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    I too have dermatographism and have had it for years. It comes and goes. I tried allergy testing (needles in back and arms) three times in the past 8 years. Two times the test had to be stopped. ALL OF MINE hived up and connected together and couldn't be read. The second time my heart beat so fast they had to stop the test.

    What they have been able to glean from allergy testing when i do not show the dermatographism is alllergies to many different molds, grasses, dust, mites, etc. Here is the key though. I never ever get nose or eye symptoms. I never sneeze, have runny eyes, itchy eyes or anything typical of allergies. I get dermatographism. I hive during those seasons of the year.

    Like everyone else I live on antihistamines. They do work for me. I have been on Allegra for about 10 years. I don't like taking medications so some times I don't take it every day. When i start to flare and itch it looks like a bear attacked me from my scratching and the hive.

    I am seriously looking into re-taking allergy shots. I understand it is a minimum of a 2 year commitment. I tried before and got real dizzy from the shots and gave up. Now other symptoms are arising and I may try it again.

    Any body been helped with allergy shots? Consistent weekly shots?

    Last edited by seekandfind; 02-10-2007 at 11:52 AM.

     
    Old 02-17-2007, 04:01 PM   #10
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jessica805 View Post
    Anyway, it would really help if anyone of you would write back with your experience with dermagraphism.. and what you did about it. Thank you.
    Per DermNet NZ: "Dermographism is an exaggerated wealing tendency when the skin is stroked. It is the commonest form of physical urticaria.

    In 25-50% of normal people firm stroking of the skin produces first a white line, then a red line, then slight swelling down the line of the stroke, and a mild red flare in the surrounding skin. In 5% of the population this response is exaggerated enough to be called dermographism. In only a minority of these does it cause any symptoms."


    I'm one of the 5% of the population who gets just such a reaction. My surgeon found the ability to write on my skin to be amusing (since he'd never seen it before) but, to me, it is just another example of a hyperactive immune system...and can be very annoying at times.

    I take Zyrtec - 1 tablet a day, Hydroxyzine - 1 tsp. at night, and 1 Pepcid AC to cope with the symptoms. Some days are a lot better than others.

    Best wishes to you!
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    "It is more about the journey... than the destination"

     
    Old 02-24-2007, 09:41 AM   #11
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jenjensmiles View Post
    Well I have the same dermagraphism as the rest of you all and I too have yet to find out what caused it. I have spent soo much money on antihistmines as well as anti anxiety medicine. I am very upset because this will not go away. I am taking zyrtec, atarax and was at one time taking xanax. Everywhere I touch turns red and wheals up. I itch more at night or when I get hot than during any other time. I thought my acrylic nails were the culprit, but once they were taken off nothing changed other than now I am scratching with nubs not nails. Anyways, My doctor told me to also start taking pepcid ac to cover the histamines my stomach lets off due to a possible food I am eating that I have an allergy to. I was also encouraged to start a food diary to keep up with what foods I have eaten and possibly start eliminating them. I got new detergent, and fabric softener sheets that are free and clear supposedly. I guess through prayer and time one day this will go away. It it doesn't, I can only imagine the money I will have dumped into the medicine in the mean time as well as all the alternate products that I will try to see if this will eliminate the culprit. Good luck to the rest of you,
    Jen
    I am having the same responses as you in terms of dermagraphism.
    my dr. has me on prednisone, zertac and zantac. The rash is contuing to spread. Today she prescibed ATALAX. I haven't started it yet. Does it work for you?

     
    Old 03-06-2007, 10:11 AM   #12
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    Thumbs up Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    well im so glad to have the internet,this is my 3 times with this terrible thing called dermagraphism,i was also told the doctor thinks its autoimune dermagraphism.in 2000 i broke out and it lasted 3 years.about 10 years ago it lasted 6 months and now its back and i am on prednizone,allegra,and had a shot of addredilen.i guess i must get used to treating the symptoms,because i was tested the last time and nothing came up.i am glad to hear there are other people i can talk to and hear what works for them.it seems like a guessing game with the doctors not know really alot about it yet.its a try this and see if it works thing i guess.if anything helps me i will let you know, good luck.

     
    Old 03-06-2007, 03:17 PM   #13
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    Wink Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Hello,
    I'm not sure if i have the same thing but i get those wheals it seems when i go outside in the cold an take a shower i can't figure it out at all , it happen first a month ago and the a week later and now yesterday and today and each time my hives get worse and worse and i'm so scared if i don't know what it is i'll keep reinfecting myself and die if they keep getting worse. I can't sleep at night because i'm so workedup about it. Any advise i would love.
    Thanks

     
    Old 03-07-2007, 03:21 AM   #14
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Sorry to hear so many of you are going through this torment! I remember being covered with itchy red marks and tearing my skin open from scratching so much. This was right after having abdominal surgery and itching was the last thing I needed.

    While waiting to see an allergist, I used Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Aveeno anti-itch cream. Both of these are available over the counter.

    The only thing that really helped was (and this sounds discouraging to anyone enduring this problem) seeing an allergist for stronger prescription medicine. Even that didn't eliminate the problem right away since I wasn't allergic to specific things so much as I had a hyper-active immune system.

    Once the prescribed combination of Allegra, hydroxyzine, and Pepcid-AC had a chance to work, it settled my system down. I now just take the Allegra and the problem only flares-up once in a while, but is usually quiet throughout the day - unless I'm really stressed.

    Do an Internet search on "autoimmune dermographism" and you may recognize your own symptoms. I sure hope you can see a doctor very soon to get some relief. This is so rough on the skin.

    Last edited by jhmitch; 03-07-2007 at 03:23 AM.

     
    Old 03-16-2007, 05:27 PM   #15
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    Re: Dermagraphism.. Dermatitis?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jessica805 View Post
    I've always been very healthy... had allergic reaction to pollen...but never thought I had any allergies to food. I woke up last Tuesday being very itchy... it started out with my head, arms, neck, shoulders then back to my head. It just kept going. I went to my doctor, and he tested for my general health and everything was normal. So we decided to test to see if I have any allergies to a few things that I ate over the weekend.

    We tested for crab, shrimp and peanuts. I have a feeling I might be allergic to crab. Everytime I ate crab, my body usually tensed up, then my whole body got tingly then sort of stung a bit. My mom also got this way, so I didn't think anything of it. I had crab & shrimp on Saturday.. .and my symptoms started happening on Tuesday.. aren't allergic reactions pretty instant? Or can it happen a couple of days later?

    Anyway, for the time being, he prescribed me some medrol... and I've been taking this for 4 days now, and it hasn't helped. I itch heavily at night, but in the day time.. I can control it by taking claritin. When I scratch, bump into something, or wear tighter clothing... it leaves a wheal on my skin that lasts for about 30 minutes. As the wheal forms, it starts itching for about couple minutes and swells up. I heard this was called Dermagraphism. Can this be treated? I read a lot of postings saying that this will stay with you forever. Is this true? Why does this happen all of sudden?

    This is really upsetting... and frustrating. Is there something that's worked for anyone out there that's had Dermagraphism?

     
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