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What are these welts that appear right after I scratch my skin?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michelle Longmire
Dermatology
5 doctors agree

In brief: Dermatographism

Welting of the skin immediately following rubbing is called dermatographism or dermatographic urticaria (medical word for hives).
It suggests that a cell population in your skin, called mast cells, are releasing histamine. It is seen in 4-5% of people. In most cases a cause is not discovered. If it bothers you, try antihistamines like zyrtec or Benadryl (diphenhydramine) (check interactions and contraindications).

In brief: Dermatographism

Welting of the skin immediately following rubbing is called dermatographism or dermatographic urticaria (medical word for hives).
It suggests that a cell population in your skin, called mast cells, are releasing histamine. It is seen in 4-5% of people. In most cases a cause is not discovered. If it bothers you, try antihistamines like zyrtec or Benadryl (diphenhydramine) (check interactions and contraindications).
Dr. Michelle Longmire
Dr. Michelle Longmire
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Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology

In brief: Hives (urticaria)

Hives are "an itch that rashes" - the itching comes first, you scratch, then the hives come up.
Scratching releases a substance called histamine, which causes the characteristic "wheal and flare" skin reaction. It's annoying, but not usually dangerous - although in severe cases your throat can swell. Try allegra, (fexofenadine) which is now otc - but if you ever have trouble breathing, get to a doctor pronto.

In brief: Hives (urticaria)

Hives are "an itch that rashes" - the itching comes first, you scratch, then the hives come up.
Scratching releases a substance called histamine, which causes the characteristic "wheal and flare" skin reaction. It's annoying, but not usually dangerous - although in severe cases your throat can swell. Try allegra, (fexofenadine) which is now otc - but if you ever have trouble breathing, get to a doctor pronto.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Thank
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