Dermatographia is a condition known as skin writing. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 3% of adults have some form of dermatitis. Dermatographia is grouped in this category, however its estimated to be higher.  

Dermatographia does not have a specific cause though some think it might be an allergic reaction, but no known allergen is identified. There are many causes that make dermatographia symptoms worse. Many of these causes can be managed and incorporating some minor changes can have major effects.

Itching causes dermatographia

It is important to recognize the causes of dermatographia in order to know how to combat it. With an understanding of the causes, tweaking lifestyle choices, and shifting your mindset on how to live can help you gain control of your dermatographia. You might not be able to cure it, but in my case I was able to improve it.

Let’s focus on the major causes of dermatographia. Not everyone will experience all these causes, but many are present in those with dermatographia. Researching these causes and adding healthy habits to combat them can help limit the symptoms of dermatographia.


A weakened auto-immune response is the most common cause of dermatographia. This is my primary cause, and it’s due to stress, which I will outline more below. The body will work overtime to compensate for the lack of vitality in the immune system. Your body will function better when protected from certain environmental attacks, the biggest aggressor being smoking. Quitting smoking will help bolster your immune system and every other part of your body, too.


Stress, chronic stress, ages the immune system faster than normal which diminishes heart health, interrupts sleep patterns, and makes it harder for people to maintain a healthy weight. Long-term stress leads to chronic inflammation which increases the symptoms of dermatographia. Getting adequate amount of sleep each night, making time to rest, and enjoying life on a daily basis can all decrease the level of stress.


Changing my diet has been the biggest challenge and yet the biggest reward in managing my dermatographia. Certain foods weakens the auto-immune system therefore increasing the symptoms of dermatographia. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and dairy all impact the immune system negatively. With regular exercise and adequate sleep, eating these foods won’t normally be a problem. But with dermatographia, these foods can cause a night of scratching and welts. Eating foods like vegetables, fruits, and fish boost the immune system, therefore protecting me from itching.


Excessive rubbing from clothing or bedding can cause dermatographia. Participating in exercises that excessively rubs the skin like wrestling can also exacerbate the problem. Dry skin or continually scratching your skin also causes skin writing. Having a history of dermatitis causes skin inflammation and can lead to dermatographia, too.


If you have a history of allergies, infections, take certain medications, have a nerve disorder, or thyroid disease, then you will be more susceptible to dermatographia. Knowing your medical history can help contain dermatographia. Combating allergies can relieve the symptoms and keep the itching at a minimum.

Dermatographia can be improved, but not until you understand the causes. Once you know the causes, then it is easier to implement a plan to limit the symptoms and gain your life back.

What causes your dermatographia to get worse? Feel free to share in the comments below.