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.
[Note, this page contains affiliate links. Although I encourage you to buy local whenever possible, if you use these links to purchase the products I recommend, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) which helps keep the Skintome community alive. Thank you for your support! <3 ]
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. You can buy the large bottles and refill these foaming soap containers for an economical and low waste option.
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!
If you’re looking for a stain remover, try this one by Puracy. It contains enzymes that help lift stains. I think it does a great job getting clothes clean, and it’s not full of chemicals!
Please don’t use dryer sheets! They’re toxic and just make extra garbage. You really don’t need them if you use something like these wool laundry balls when drying clothes. These last for a really long time–you just keep them in the dryer and use them with every load. Bonus: they help your clothes dry faster to save on energy use!
Note, some of these items may seem more expensive than what you’re used to, but a little goes a long way so you actually end up spending less over time! And they’re all really good quality so you’re putting some of the best stuff on your skin 🙂
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 lotion, Babo makes a nice one that doesn’t irritate my skin. I use it every single day to help keep the itch at bay. For extra moisture, The Fay Farm makes a great hemp salve that is very soothing to irritated skin. Shea butter is another great moisturizer that is unscented and very nonirritating. I love using shea butter on my elbows if they get rough.
I finally found a deodorant that works really well (for a natural deodorant) and smells divine! It’s Magsol Lavender deodorant–definitely try it if you’re looking for something new. Bonus, it contains magnesium so you’re getting a supplement every time you use it!
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 Fatco. 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.
If you have dry, rough skin like I do, try the Exfoliating Acid Potion made by Moon Juice. I know I know, it seems counter intuitive to put something containing acid on sensitive skin but trust me, this stuff is magic! My skin has never felt so soft. Use this link for $20 off your first order of $50 or more. I also love their serum. So nourishing!
I also use some of Fat and the Moon’s products. They make great deodorants, face oils, lotions and an awesome face scrub. Use this link for $15 off your first order.
The best sunblock, in my opinion, is by Babo. I also like MyChelle, and they make a tinted one for the face too. They don’t leave a white residue on your skin like some zinc sunblocks, and doesn’t contain toxic chemical filters like oxybenzone. To find out more about chemicals in sunscreens, check out this article on the Environmental Working Group site.
If you use brown mascara, try this one by Pacific Beauty. They make it in black as well. I don’t use too much makeup myself, but have heard that Beauty Counter and RMS make excellent all natural options.
For those of us who menstruate, be careful with the pads and tampons you use. They’re usually made with bleached and chemically treated cotton that is terrible for your body. I recommend using a menstrual cup, which takes a little getting used to but is actually way better and easier than tampons (also much much cheaper)! If you prefer to use pads and/or tampons, please be sure to use organic ones like these from Natracare and Cora.
As for shampoo, I finally found one that doesn’t irritate my skin! It’s another ACURE product, the argan and pumpkin one I find to be the most nourishing/gentle for my scalp.
I also brush my hair nightly with a wooden bristled brush to distribute my scalp’s natural oils, and massage my scalp afterwards to keep my hair from getting greasy. Brushing and massaging help get rid of any lingering dirt from the day, and distribute your natural oils.
In addition to using all-natural products for your hair and skin, I think probiotics are super helpful for easing the itch. There are many different probiotics out there, but I’ve found PB8 makes a good one. And the nice thing is, they don’t need to be refrigerated. It’s an affordable option too!
If you prefer to shop somewhere besides Amazon or your local health food store, try Thrive Market. They offer most of these products for less than you can find at Amazon or Whole Foods. When you use this link you’ll get 25% off your first order! They are subscription based, but the amount you save shopping there makes it totally worth it.
My son has really sensitive skin too, so I had to use very gentle diapers on his little buns. We loved the Dyper brand! They are super eco friendly and soft, and they make comfy briefs too if you need pull-ups. My son was using the briefs because they’re just easier, but now he’s potty trained. Dyper has a lot of specials for new subscribers–currently you can get a free diaper bag when you subscribe to their monthly (with options to customize) delivery service. Use this link to get the special! It’s so nice to not worry about buying diapers :+)
I hope this helps! Please let me know what works for you.
Note, I encourage you to buy local whenever possible but if you use these links to purchase the products I recommend, I may earn a small commission. It doesn’t cost anything extra for you, and by using my links you’ll help keep the Skintome community alive :=)
Thank you for your support!