By Gary M. White, MD


Dermatographism is a condition in which the patient develops linear wheals along lines of stroking or scratching. It may occur with or without urticaria. Any patient whose chief complaint is itching should be tested for dermatographism. The same allergens that can cause urticaria can cause dermatographism.


Linear wheals are seen along areas of scratching. Stroking the skin with a tongue blade on the back is a good way to test for dermatographism. Look for linear wheals 3-5 minutes later.


For treatment, see urticaria.


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