WHAT IS DERMATOGRAPHIA?
Dermatographia is a condition also known as skin writing. When people who have dermatographia lightly scratch their skin, the scratches redden into raised welts similar to hives. It affects about 5% of the world population, every age, race, and class.
There is no cure, but with some experimentation you can learn what your triggers are–what causes your skin to become extra sensitive–and then avoid those triggers to find relief. Some people choose to take antihistamines for their condition, but I believe with patience and perseverance we can treat our dermatographia naturally, without antihistamines taxing our system. Check out the posts below for more information about dermatographia, including tips to ease the itch, how to do an elimination diet to help heal dermatographia, and whether or not dermatographs can get tattooed (yes, we can :-). Click here and you’ll see even more posts where I feature other skin writers and their art. There’s lots of information and inspiration to be found… Be sure to read the comments too for more helpful tips!
To find out if you are one of the 5% who has dermatographia, lightly scratch your arm with your fingernail. If a welt shows up in about 5 minutes or so, congratulations, you’re a skin writer!
PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND TO HELP EASE THE ITCH:
I often get asked which products I use to help keep the itch away. If you’re looking for recommendations, here are a few things that are good for those of us with sensitive skin:
Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Castille soap is great if you’re looking for a liquid soap. This works well for hand washing and in the shower.
If you’re looking for a bar soap, it also comes in bar form. Personally I prefer bar soap in the shower and liquid soap for the sink. Dr. Bronner’s also makes scented soaps that aren’t too overwhelming. I’m fond of the lavender and eucalyptus myself. They smell amazing!
As for laundry detergent, All makes one that is good for sensitive skin and works great. Unfortunately I haven’t found an all natural detergent that works really well on my family’s laundry. If you have one you like, please let me know!
My favorite moisturizers are sweet almond oil and coconut oil. Sweet almond oil is already in a liquid state so is super easy to use–I use it to wash my face and in the shower I use it like soap to wash my body. Regular coconut oil is awesome, I love the Dr. Bronner’s kind. Liquid coconut oil is easier to use in the shower and as moisturizer (plus the kind I recommend is organic and great to cook with). But both work well!
If you prefer something more like lotion, The Fay Farm makes a great hemp salve that is very soothing to irritated skin. It’s more expensive but a little goes a long way. Shea butter is another great moisturizer that is unscented and very nonirritating.
I finally found a deodorant that works really well (for a natural deodorant) and smells divine! It’s Schmidt’s Lavender and Sage scented stick deodorant–definitely try it if you’re looking for something new.
To moisturize my face I use Cocokind’s chia seed oil and, because my skin is really dry, I follow that with this amazing lavender and myrrh face cream by Factco. I also love Cocokind’s moisturizing sticks–I use the Macabeet for my lips everyday. It has a slight tint to it but not too much.
As for shampoo, I haven’t found one that doesn’t irritate my skin. I stopped using shampoo because I got sick of always having oily hair and a dry scalp. Everything strips all the moisture from my scalp! I use water only to wash my hair, and occasionally use an apple cider vinegar rinse. If you try the vinegar rinse just make sure you put some essential oil in with it because otherwise you’ll smell like vinegar lol. I’ve also had some luck using rye flour to wash my hair, but even that kind of irritates my scalp. It’s so frustrating! If you come across something you love for washing your hair, please let me know.
In addition to using all-natural products for your hair and skin, I think probiotics are super helpful for easing the itch. I use Just Thrive, which is a super high quality probiotic that survives the digestion process. It’s more expensive than some of the other probiotics on the market, but it’s definitely worth it! And the nice thing is, they don’t need to be refrigerated. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, PB8 makes a good probiotic as well.
I hope this helps! Please let me know what works for you.
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