Dermatographia may sound like a strange, rare disease, but it is actually a fairly common skin disorder. As many as five percent of the population suffers from dermatographia at some point in their lives. Some people only experience minor, fleeting symptoms, while others experience severe discomfort. It gets its name, which translates to "skin writing," from the bold scratches and welts it causes. Doctors still are not sure of the exact causes, but there are many things they do know about dermatographia.
People with dermatographia develop scratches, hives, or welts when pressure is applied to their skin. The exact kind of pressure required to make the marks varies from person to person but can be anything from a light scratch to pressure from tight clothes. These scratches or welts are typically not painful, although they can be itchy, and they usually go away in about half an hour. However, for people with more severe forms of the condition, the marks can worsen into wounds requiring treatment.
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