“Skin Writing” is one of my more interesting symptoms. First and foremost, please take a look at Ariana Page Russell’s beautiful art work here on her website. Please also see her website about skin writing entitled Skin To Me or Skintome. for more detailed information and advice about this condition. Ariana is the expert. She has also made her skin condition into a work of art. On her website, Ariana says she uses “her own hypersensitive flesh to illustrate the ways we expose, express, adorn and articulate ourselves”. Ariana is an artist, a creativity coach, and has founded the Skintome movement. “She has taken her skin condition dermatographia and used it as a means of inspiration, connectivity, and purpose”. I love her work. Fabulous idea!
What is Skin Writing?
Skin writing or Dermatographic Urticaria is also known as Dermographism or Dermatographism. The symptoms are apparently thought to be caused by mast cells in the surface of the skin releasing histamine. The skin is literally hypersensitive to stress, diet, chemicals and touch. Yup! Sure sounds like my skin!
Some of my own issues with my skin:
I didn’t realise quite what this was for a long time. I used to draw crosses on my face with vaseline to show friends how my skin reacted. It was a party trick! The red crosses would remain for a few moments or a few hours. I never knew quite what to expect. I could scratch my skin and it would stay raised for a period. I wish I had found Ariana’s website Skintome at that time. It would have helped me greatly to have understood more about this issue.
I have had this condition, to a certain extent, for quite a long time although it seemed to fade in and out early on in my life. I remember when I had my thigh tattooed, the tattoo artist was horrified at the welts that formed on my skin. Acupuncture was, and actually still is, a problem. I react badly to the needles. Acupuncture hurts me!
As I got sicker, my skin started to overreact to everything. I could not use body products as my skin would be sore for hours. My scalp and face started to react to my hair dye. I was surprised, one day, when it hurt my skin to wear some of my usual clothes. They felt scratchy and weird everywhere my skin touched. Red weals started to appear! Sleeping in my normal bed sheets would also cause me to have strange weals. I would wake up in the morning with unusual marks all over my body. I could not use body products at all and the only oil I used on my skin was coconut oil. I tend still to use this as I still cannot (and now I know what is in these products, I will not) use “normal” products containing chemicals.
At my worst, I think I also had some kind of reactive urticaria, I would come out in spots immediately after eating yeast. It would also blister my tongue. Most clothes washing powders or liquids would cause me to have rashes all over my skin. At that point I stopped using all products on my skin and to this day I wash my skin and hair only in epsom salts and water. My clothes have to be washed without powder or with a powder that doesn’t contain chemicals or perfume.
Enter my high raw vegan diet and lifestyle change…
Since I have changed my diet and lifestyle so fundamentally, my skin condition has been changing for the better. I can still get red skin at times but my skin no longer reacts in the way that Ariana’s beautiful skin does. I have to be careful as to what products I use but the red weals have been gradually fading out. At a recent consultation, my skin specialist tried skin writing on my arm but although the skin went red there was no raised markings. I guess I will never now be a skin writing artist!
Many thanks to Ariana Page Russell for giving me permission to use her beautiful works of art in this post.
See also my post on my hair care regime No Poo… No Problem