Dermatographia hives occur when the skin is irritated by scratching. Hives, also known as urticaria, are very common. It is estimated that 15-20% of all people will be affected by hives at some point in their lifetime. It is not considered a serious medical condition, but hives be very uncomfortable.
In cases of dermatographia hives, skin cells known as “mast cells” become extremely sensitive to physical stimulation, like scratching. When the skin is irritated, the mast cells release histamines. This causes blood to leak out of the blood vessels under the skin, and the result is hives. Urticaria are itchy, and can also burn or sting.
The exact cause of dermatographia hives is unknown. It is believed to be an allergic reaction, but many people with the condition show no evidence of having any allergies.
In addition to dermatographism, there are other types of hives. We will now go over them in more detail.
Types of hives (urticaria)
There are two types of hives, ordinary hives (ordinary urticaria) and physical hives (physical urticaria).
Ordinary hives appear suddenly, and for no apparent reason. They usually appear in several places on the body, swell and turn red, and are itchy. They come and go, and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Episodes of ordinary hives can last from a few days to weeks. Episodes that last longer than 6 weeks are considered chronic. Chronic hives can last months or years. In most cases of chronic hives, it is never determined what the cause was.
Physical hives are caused when something stimulates the skin. Most often, physical hives are caused by scratching (dermatographism). Other stimuli that can cause physical hives include heat or cold, sunlight, exercise, pressure or water.
Treatment for dermatographism
Now that we have gone over dermatographia hives in detail, it is important to discuss treatment.
Most people with hives will first visit their doctor. The doctor will run tests and try to identify the cause of the hives. The cause usually can’t be identified.
Doctors then usually recommend an antihistamine or a steroid to relieve the symptoms. The goal of this treatment is to relieve the symptoms, and hope that the hives go away by themselves. Often hives will go away on their own, but in many cases they can last for years.
There are no approved medications that can cure hives, and there is no guarantee that they will go away on their own. There is only hope.
There are two problems with this approach: 1 – these medications can’t cure the hives, and 2 - is that steroids and antihistamines can have severe side effects. They are not safe to use long term.
As a result, many people look into herbal and natural treatments. Natural treatments have no dangerous side effects, and for many people, can be a potential cure for hives.
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If you have any questions about dermatographia hives, please write to us. If you need additional information about any type of urticaria, please contact us.
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