Dermatographic Urticaria Remedies

| Modified on Nov 09, 2020

What Is Dermatographic Urticaria?

Better known as skin writing, dermatographic urticaria is a skin condition that presents as light writing on the skin. An individual affected by the disease experiences a slightly red, raised welt similar to that of hives from even gently scratching his or her skin. Generally the “writing” or red marks disappear after a short period of just 30 minutes or some and are typically not considered a great medical concern.

The most definitive symptom of dermatographic urticaria is the characteristic skin writing or raised red lines on the skin; however, a few other symptoms are common. Additional symptoms include swelling, inflammation, hive-like welts, and itching. Symptoms generally occur within mere minutes of the skin being rubbed or scratched and typically last no long than 30 minutes. In rare cases, symptoms develop much more slowly and last many hours to even days.

While the exact cause of dermatographic urticaria is unclear, researchers believe it may be linked to an allergic response; however, no specific allergen has been recognized as of yet. Common activities often trigger the symptoms of the condition including clothes rubbing on the skin or bed sheets irritating the skin. Additionally infection, emotional upset and medications often trigger an outbreak of the condition.

Natural Urticaria Treatment

While urticaria is not typically considered a grave medical condition, urticaria treatment is often sought to relieve the irritating symptoms. Many natural options are available that treat and even cure urticaria. Apple cider vinegar applied topically or taken orally treats the frequent outbreaks associated with urticaria. Likewise, nettles are effective for treating a number of skin conditions including urticaria. Additional options include eating an anti-inflammatory diet as well as identifying and avoiding allergens. Keep reading below to learn more recommendations from our readers.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Frances (Dallas, Tx) on 07/21/2016

My teenage daughter developed dermatographism after a penicillin allergy. Her doctor told her to take Zyrtec daily to help control it; however she has gained a lot of weight since taking the Zyrtec. How can she use the apple cider vinegar to help instead of the Zyrtec. She is very short and needs to lose all the extra weight she has put on because of this drug.

Replied by Andrea

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lucia (Bratislava, Slovakia) on 08/09/2012

Dear EarthClinic staff, my 2 years old daughter is having a form of Uiticaria, called Dermographism. I read on the internet forums, that this disease can be possible cured by using ACV. Do you think that she, as 2 year old child, can take ACV and that this might help her to get rid of Dermographism? Can you please tell me as well, what should be the proper daily amount of ACV for her? I´m giving her right now a very small amount (1/4 teaspoon of ACV into 2, 5 dcl of water twice a day). How long might it take until it possibly delivers some results? She has 11 kilos right now.

Thank you for the help, Lucia

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Lucia, have you tried it - diluted - externally?

Cold Urticaria Remedies

Posted by Joe Elli (Ireland) on 10/04/2013

I need something for cold urticatia. Winter is coming and my face gets red dots due to the cold. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Replied by Mama To Many
(Tennessee, Usa)

Hi Joe Elli,

Nettles are a wonderful remedy for urticaria. I have not known personally of it being used for the cold urticaria, but having seen it so effective in my family for other urticaria, and skin issues, I wouldn't be surprised to see it work. And nettles are a highly nutritious food, so very safe. Phillip Fritchey, in his book, Pracitical Herbalism, cites nettles as a cure for urticaria.

I would try 2-4 nettles capsules 2-3 times a day. (Morning and afternoon, or morning, afternoon and evening, with or without food. ) You could also take nettle tea, 1 cup, three times a day. If you break out, you can try taking 5-10 drops of nettle tincture under the tongue and hold it a few minutes and then swallow. 1/2 cup of nettle tea cured one of my young children of hives (he woke from his nap covering in them) in 20 minutes. (I didn't have the tincture on hand, or might have tried that.)

Adding vitamin C daily might be of help as well.

Please do keep us posted on how things are working for you. Thanks!

~Mama to Many~

Dietary Changes

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Posted by Karen (Los Angeles) on 09/29/2016

I suffered with Dermographic Urticaria for over 4 years. Allergy specialist gave me medications to help alleviate symptoms. But medication was just covering the symptom and not curing the problem. Then, totally by chance, three months go I decided to stop eating all meats as well as eggs to lower my high LDL cholesterol. I also stopped eating sugar and baked goods to stop progression of diabetes. Instead I increased fruits and vegetables. Two weeks into my new way of eating I realized I no longer have the symptoms so I stopped taking medication for Urticaria. It's been 3 months and I no longer have the problem. Incidentally, I no longer have stomach issues. No need to take PPI such as Nexium for my gastritis either. It seems my new diet fixed my stomach as well!


Dietary Changes
Posted by Seta (Uae) on 07/29/2016

I have had Dermographic Urticaria for three years and even with daily med Aries it was bad. I believe the onset was due to stress. Did all types of allergy test etc... Nothing came out.

A friend told me stop gluten and I tried it, within a week I was off Aries. I later did celiac disease test and it turned out I don't have it, but I may be sensitive to gluten and the tests for that are not well developed yet. My doctor told me listen to ur body and stop gluten.

I still have outbreaks sometimes when I am stressed or have not been consistent with a gluten green diet but cutting gluten has been a life changer.

I suggest to try cutting gluten.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Mary (Hamilton, Nj) on 01/31/2010


I used to eat sweets everyday - cookies, chocolate, cake, etc. Doctors told me to live on Zyrtec, which works great, but I want a cure, not something to cover the symptoms. I happened upon an article about things in our diets causing inflammation. DUH!@#$ So I started an anti-inflammatory diet. After one week, I really think it is almost gone. Pacific salmon (not farm raised), oatmeal, almonds, flaxseed, walnuts, berries, sweet potatoes, green tea, and 4-8 glasses of water a day. My diet did not consist of just these items, but I ate a serving of at least 2 of these a day. What a difference! Look it up - I hope it helps.

Replied by Tatjana
(Gaithersburg, Md, Usa)

Mary, Can you please tell us more about the anti-inflamatory diet?

Thank you,

Replied by Dixie

I have had this skin condition for 12 years now, and have had to increase doses and take stronger types of histamines. I've been doing a " no sugar" challenge with my husband for three months now, (which feels like forever) and have also gone grain free, sweetener free, dairy free, live an active healthy lifestyle and am not over weight.and the diet change doesn't seem to have done anything. I feel like it's still steadily getting worse. Just wanted to throw that there

Replied by Alexandra
(Cheshire Uk)

Have you watched Joe Cross in "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead"? He had nothing but fresh juice for 60 days, and is no longer on medications for chronic urticaria.

Replied by Janice
(Madison Heights)

I was doing everything "right" to lower the inflammation in my body and my symptoms were getting worse. I am now doing a Low-Histamine elimination diet and I feel optimistic that this will solve the puzzle.

Replied by Mary Ann
(South Windsor Ct)

Hi Mary & Everyone here. I too am suffering from this skin thing. I am on Lisinopril for high blood pressure. Doc wants me to try changing to Bystolic instead. Afraid to make the change. I scratch my arm and long red lines appeared today and won't go away fast enough. Yesterday I had round red rashes on my inner thigh. I have a smaller rash right now on my neck. My upper back along going horizontally is itching now. Itching below stomach area also. I've had this going on for about 4 months straight now. They are either long red lines, round circles or just patches of rash. I take Zyrtec now before going to bed. It helps some. But HELP! What should I do? I do eat chocolate, drink wine, tea, mild, cheese, nuts, strawberries. Do you think eliminating these things will help? I have like one good day a week before all heck breaks loose.


Have you tried eating green vegetables and salmon? See if it helps you. I hope it helps.

General Feedback

Posted by Chandrasekhar (Bangalore, India) on 12/12/2008

I thank the owner of this site to bring such an wonderful things to people..I was searching for any solution on dermatographism..Doctors say it is incurable..Is it true? Any natural remedy? Pls provide us with information regarding this. We are looking forward to see topics on DERMATOGRAPHISM also.

With regards,

Replied by Teresa
(Sandia Park, NM)

My daughter has Dermatographism, and Gold Bond Medicated powder and lotion work miracles, taking the itching and welts away immediatle!

Replied by Eric
(New York, NY)

Is there anything out there that can be used to cure or fix this problem. I had this issue for more then a year and can't kick it. I went to many doctors and finally one said it was Dermatographic. So I been doing the allergy pill in the morning and a histamin at night. This stuff makes me tired and hard to go thru the day. I need a fix for this as it's not working. I stopped this and went to an asian herbal doctor. So far the herbal stuff works for a few days then i'm itchy all over again. I have tried everything. Powders, lotions and pills nothing is working. Any ideas??

Multiple Remedies

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Posted by Olga (So Cal) on 08/18/2015

I've had dermographic skin condition since I was 5 y/o. I'm now 25.


I would say limit your acidic foods and drinks intake (citrus fruits, coffee, alcohol, etc.) - it will help subside the symptoms.


I also noticed that natural tanning (laying out and tanning on the beach, not indoor tanning) has helped 'neutralize' my skin so that it is less sensitive and does not get as red/does not get bumpy as much when I have a tan. I have heard of this before too and, contradictory to what some dermatologists might tell you, I believe it actually does make the symptoms appear less frequently.


Also, I would suggest trying acupuncture and Chinese medicine to help calm your nervous system (as this condition is related to your nervous system balance). Acupuncture works wonders! I've used it for reducing stress and anxiety, for curing digestive issues and IC.


It's a huge factor! Reduce your stress levels and it will help reduce your symptoms for "Dermatographic Urticaria" I.e. dermographic skin.

Aloe gel:

Can get at CVS or other pharmacy - it cools burning sensations and helps your skin heal, so your symptoms subside faster. Works for me!

I hope this helps! :)

Replied by Beth
(East Coast Us)

I've been dealing with demographism for almost 2 years now. At first the Clobetasol lotion seem to work. But now I'm applying twice a day and up to five times a day. I was taking loratadine in the morning and Benadryl at night. I'm going to see an allergy specialist in three weeks and was told to stop all antihistamines. I just got back from the dermatologist and he recommends that I go on another stronger prescription anti-histamine twice a day and up to three times a day for breakthrough rashes. Of course sleepiness is a side effect so I'm not sure how that will agree with working. I'm thinking about finding a naturo pathic doctor but even some people who have tried that path have not found relief either. I'm going to do more research about mast cells since they are the culprit. I guess once I see the allergist I'll start the stronger antihistamines, until then I'll continue my routine of showering twice a day, applying Nivea cream, and then the clobetasol to affected areas. I have found that the clobetasol is not as effective unless I shower and start with 'clean' skin. In addition tight waist bands, elastic, and clothing seams create a response. You can imagine how frustrating that can be! I need to wear all of my pajamas inside out. Right now close to 50% of my body is experiencing break out. I also plan on having my thyroid checked since the issue can come from the thyroid as well. The naturopathic doctor is very expensive so that will be a last resort for me. If ANYONE has found something that works consistently for them, please let me know.

Replied by Rs


I have suffered from dermography/urticaria for about 20 years. It started very slowly at a time in life when I was extremely stressed. It just progressively got worse and fortunately for me, Zyrtec did the trick. I take 10mg every day and probably for the rest of my life unless I find a cure or a reason for this madness. I saw a Endocrinologist who thought it might be my hypothalamus gland gone wild, but that was not the case although I was hoping for some kind of answer. Of course I have a dermatologist as well. My personal thoughts are that it is caused by environmental elements and MOLD is one of the main triggers....especially black mold which I was subjected to when all this madness began. Like you I cannot wear elastic or have many things touch my skin (plastic bags, anything plastic, most materials) without having a serious looking redness appear on my skin that almost looks like a burn, and sometimes scratch marks just appear down my legs, arms, or chest for no reason and disappear in seconds. It is really something right out of The Exorcist for sure. It seems like you are on the right path for hopefully finding relief and I dare say that there most likely won't be a cure for us in the near future, so relief is our only answer for now. This is an excellent forum to discuss this affliction and get good feedback. Oh, and I lost my hair.......or most of it on top. Not an attractive quality for a woman but it comes with dermography for some odd reason. Thank God for extensions!!!

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Beth,

I have seen the herb nettle do some pretty wonderful things for allergic reactions and urticaria. Nettle is a blood purifier. Used long term I have seen it heal chronic conditions.

If you want to try it, you could use a nettle (leaf) tincture (I like Herbpharm), a tea or capsules. We have used all types successfully. For the tincture, you would take 2 - 4 droppersful 3 times a day. Capsules - 4 of them 3 times a day. Tea - 3-4 cups a day.

I would also take a Borage Oil supplement as it helps the skin to heal.

Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory and blood purifier and also helps skin to help more quickly.

I hope you will find a solution and feel much better soon. Let me know how it goes!

~Mama to Many~


Posted by Bob (Leesburg, Fl) on 05/08/2009

My urticaria was found to be caused my internal parasites. Three different amoebas. Have you considered a parasite check?

Replied by Pat
(Alameda, Ca)

Who did you go to to get a test for parasites? I also have hives from dermatographism and so far the specialists have not found anything, but then again, it seems you have to tell them everything.

Vitamin D

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Posted by Tina (Va) on 01/30/2018

I accidentally discovered what would stop the itchiness and hives of dermography/urticaria. I was having an itchy episode on my neck and couldn't stop scratching it for days. Of course, the more I scratched the worse it got. I finally went to the doctor and he told me it was poison ivy and I told him I wasn't outdoorsy so I don't know how that could be possible.

He said that it was probably airborne from my neighbor's house. Again, another crazy excuse. One day I was sitting outside in the sun with my dog and I noticed I wasn't as itchy and then thought to myself maybe it's Vitamin D deficiency. Ever since I moved up north, I have always been Vit D deficient. So I starting taking 10,000 IU's a day and after a few days, the itching had subsided and my neck started to clear up. Vitamin D does keep the itchiness and hives under control. However, I can still scratch myself and create all these red, raised lines all over my body if I suddenly have an itch.