Skin Condition Dermatographia Made Into Art

Ariana Page Russell has a skin condition called dermatographia, where the skin is overly sensitive to minor injuries. Even light scratches will cause it to become red and raised.

Ever the artist, Ariana decided to use her medical condition as the basis for her art:

My own skin frequently blushes and swells. I have dermatographia, a condition in which one’s immune system exhibits hypersensitivity, via skin, that releases excessive amounts of histamine, causing capillaries to dilate and welts to appear (lasting about thirty minutes) when the skin’s surface is lightly scratched. This allows me to painlessly draw patterns and words on my skin, which I then photograph.

Some samples:

Link: Ariana's website - via It's Nice That and about:blank

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

I have had it for 9 years now. Its awful untreated, but i finally found a pill that stops it in about 15-30 minutes called Attarax. (Hydroxyzine is the generic) It works like a charm but is also a sedative, but if you have this bad enough youll just be happy to make it go away. its not a joke, like some people seem to think, judging by their comments. it can litterally drive you insane. Underwear, waistbands, stepping on something, scratching an itch, stress, heat, cold, anything will set it off.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I am 40yrs, started itching in my later 20's. I have had this condition for about ten years. I am not fair skinned. I am african american, medium brown, someone remarked that fair skinned people tend to have this. I do know two light skinned african american women with this same condition.
I find it annoying: when getting eyebrows arched, taking showers, my lips use to welt up, if an itch pen grazed my face, people looking at you crazy, my upper chest looked like a cat clawed me...etc..
I have been prescribed Doxepin( an anti depressant) I take it only once a week and it does the trick. Doxepin doesn't work for everyone . I also take Xyzal (allergy med, prescription only) 2 or 3 times a week. I itch just very little, but nothing embarrasing like before and hardly any welts.

I use to be able to play tic tac doe on my skin! I recently met an older gentlemen 57yrs- he has been prescribed Lyrica, he has relief after 12yrs and he was so glad to find out that he wasn't crazy that there is a whole community with this issue.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I have always had this along with many other skin sensitivities to fragrances and chemicals, etc. The only time it really bothers me is if I carry things, like when I moved in the summer, it left marks all over me all day - giant red lines from where I was leaning furniture on me & people kept saying "OMG - what happened to your ______" (arm, leg, hand, face, neck, wrist, ankle etc) and then they would gasp & stare at me like I was some kind of weirdo because I said it didn't hurt. Made me wish I moved in the winter when it was colder & I could be more covered up.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I am 31 years old and have had this every bit of 10 years, but didn't know what it was until 7 or 8 years ago. Mine, too, is severe. There is NO PAIN. For me, it is immense itching and whelping up!

Over the last 10 years, I have been taking Zyrtec daily... you know how the commercial says, "24 hour relief?" well... it's about 20-22 for me. When it begins to wear off, OOOOH BUDDY! WATCH OUT! I ran out one night and awoke at 2:00 am itching myself to death! I was drawn to tears... this was at the time Zyrtec was available by prescription only. So, I drove 40 miles one way to a 24-hr Walgreens for relief. It is NOT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO WISH FOR YOURSELF! It is embarrassing and frustrating! Just last night, was at a bday party and was thinking I was like an old woman because we were gonna have to go so I could get home and take my medicine! Ugh! It's not cool, ya'll.

Try getting your eyebrows waxed... the girls freak out when it turns beat red in just a minute and whelps up like crazy! Just moving hair out of my face leaves a scratch mark that people think has been caused by a vicious cat! ha. It is NOT cool to have... yes, what the original poster has done is creative and that has it's interest... but you do NOT want this.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
well i have this and man itz a bitch!! i mean it doesnt hurt or anything but just to look at it on my skin, it really bothers me...

sometimes when im bord and we are goin to a place thats far away and i have my cell fone i like to write on myself and then the letters get annoying so i just let it be.

having this is cool but at the same time its pertty doesnt affect you in any way when your having sex and its just cool when they write all over you at the same.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Skin Condition Dermatographia Made Into Art"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More