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Dermographism in Adult
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Dermographism in Adult

Contributors: Jeffrey M. Cohen MD, Noah Craft MD, PhD, Lindy P. Fox MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Dermographism is the most common form of physical urticaria and manifests as an exaggerated wheal and flare reaction of the skin induced by pressure. In dermographism, inadvertent stroking or rubbing of the skin will result in corresponding linear wheals. The wheals usually persist for about 15-30 minutes. The condition is usually asymptomatic, but some forms are associated with pruritus. The exact cause of dermographism is unknown, but clinically it appears similar to urticaria. Agents that are known to cause or exacerbate urticaria also may cause dermographism (eg, angiotensin converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors).

An increased incidence has been reported during pregnancy and in individuals with Behçet syndrome, thyroid disorders, infections, and atopic dermatitis. Dermographism affects approximately 2%-5% of the population and is more common in young adults.


L50.3 – Dermatographic urticaria

7632005 – Dermographism

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Last Reviewed:05/24/2022
Last Updated:05/25/2022
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Dermographism in Adult
A medical illustration showing key findings of Dermographism : Linear configuration, Wheal
Clinical image of Dermographism - imageId=1308870. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Linear pink, edematous plaques with surrounding pink erythema on the back, with similar papules (hives) in the vicinity.'
Linear pink, edematous plaques with surrounding pink erythema on the back, with similar papules (hives) in the vicinity.
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