Drew and I have been corresponding about dermatographia since early 2011, and he recently sent me an update on his condition. As some of you may know, dermatographia has a tendency to lessen or disappear completely as we age. It’s different for everybody, as is the severity of the condition, but most people I’ve talked to over 40 that welted up as a youth no longer have this reaction. It comes earlier for some.
Check out what Drew has said about his experience in the last few years:
I recently found out that I have dermatographia also. While learning more about it on the wikipedia page, it revealed that you use your skin as an art medium. I looked at your website and wow! Your work is awesome. My fiance draws peace signs, etc on my hands lol but to see what you do is simply astounding. I just wanted to offer some words of encouragement to you. Have a blessed day!
I wrote him back asking to see photos of his skin’s response to scratching. He sent me a few, along with this note:
By the way, I love your name! I took some pictures of how my skin reacts. the one on my collar bone and leg is to show you contrast.. I only lightly rubbed the area. My face seems to react the quickest to any sort of pressure, but also goes away the quickest. (My crude peace sign lol). The one on my arm is the writing part of the dermatographia and actually this picture is the clearest I’ve ever seen it react. You are actually lucky because I haven’t taken any antihistamines in a few days in preparation for an allergist appointment tomorrow. They want to run tests and stuff because they say I am a rare case of true dermatographia and also have pressure induced urticaria. This only lasts for like 10 minutes then goes away, but the itching is TERRIBLE! Anyways I try to have fun with it and not let it be too much of an embarrassment. What sort of symptoms do you have and how do you treat yours?
Then, in June of 2013 I contacted him for permission to publish his photographs on my Dermatographia blog.
I still have it and have tried different antihistamines prescribed to me. All of them pretty much only stop the itching and welts, but not the redness. So instead of taking them all the time, I just take them when I start itching a little. It’s very annoying and I wish it would go away lol. I’m completely okay with you using me in your blog! Sounds awesome and if I come across some miracle remedy, you’ll be the first I let know. I’ve heard about the great things that coconut oil does so I’ve been trying that out lately. I’ll let you know on the progress.
Thanks for contacting me, and good luck on your blog!
Coconut oil does do wonders for irritated skin! I highly recommend everyone with dermatographia keep a jar (preferably glass) of it around the house. In December 2013, Drew wrote me again with some good news:
I’m just writing to see how things are going? I have good news, my conditions have gradually gone away. Every now and then I will get red after getting touched too hard and I may itch and it spread a bit, but have stopped taking meds for about 6 months now. It’s pretty much gone. I haven’t done anything different, so I’m not sure why it is going away. Anyways, I hope things are going well for you, your blog, and your artwork!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Drew, thanks for sharing your story with me. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you!
All images courtesy of Drew Wilkinson