Dermatographia can be diagnosed by a healthcare provider through a simple skin agitation test. They use a tongue depressor to scratch or press the skin on your arm or back, and within five to seven minutes, raised marks appear in the same direction as the agitation, resembling writing from a pen. If a raised line or welt appears within minutes after the skin is agitated, it indicates the presence of dermatographia.


Dermatographia typically resolves on its own without the need for treatment. However, if you experience severe or bothersome symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend an oral antihistamine medication. It’s best to start with a non-drowsy option like fexofenadine, loratadine, or cetirizine. If these medications don’t provide relief, your healthcare provider may prescribe a stronger medication to be taken at bedtime, such as doxepin.