Hi, my name is Jamie. My dermatographia started when I was six years old. My parents assumed it had to do with laundry detergent, shampoos, etc. We tried everything. I went a whole year using only oatmeal-based shower and health products until we gave up on the idea of my dermatographia going away. I was always insecure about it, and to be honest I still am. My skin blemishes and bubbles when getting dressed, popping pimples, shaving. Basically, all the time. In school I just try to hide it, but I know there must be another kid in my school of 4000 with the same problem. I’m only fifteen, so I hope this won’t follow me forever. That I know of, I’ve only ever met one other person with dermatographia. My parents tell me I have it because I’m insecure. I argue it’s the other way around! I’ve always been afraid to fool around with a guy who freaks when they see my naked skin, scratched and red, puffy.
In the end, though I know I can’t let my skin control me. Thanks.
Thanks for the email Jamie! I am truly moved that you decided to share this with me, and readers of Skin Tome.
My suggestion to everyone with dermatographia is that we transform the way it’s viewed. Instead of it being an embarrassing condition, make skin writing a cool condition! We are lucky to have something that makes us unique, and it’s possible to find inspiration in this supposed flaw.
For instance, rather than hiding your dermatographia, start making drawings on your arm and showing people the cool stuff you can do with your skin. Have fun with it!
Here’s some suggestions to get you started:
1. Ask someone to play tic-tac-toe, and offer to use your arm as the game board.
2. Draw a heart for someone you care about on Valentine’s Day, or write a love note with our “disappearing ink.”
3. Make crazy patterns on your leg.
4. Draw a portrait of your pet (or a friend’s pet) on your stomach.
5. Ask a friend or family member to draw on your back and then take a picture so you can see it.
Share some other ideas below!
If you would like tips for how to take care of the itchiness, and lessen your symptoms (while still being able to draw cool stuff on your skin), check out my post What to Do With the Itch: 6 Tips to Manage Dermatographia.
Images courtesy of Jamie