Author Topic: 'I'm a human Etch-a-Sketch':  (Read 387 times)

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Offline happyg

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'I'm a human Etch-a-Sketch':
« on: March 05, 2014, 11:04:31 AM »
Sketch': Mother has rare condition which means she can DRAW on her skin and watch it disappear in an hour


A mother-of-five has a rare skin condition which means she can draw on her own skin and watch it disappear - like an Etch a Sketch.

Sarah Beal, 43, from Arley, Warwickshire, has such sensitive skin that the slightest scratch can cause it to swell.

But she has also realised that the condition - known as dermatographia - allows her to create patterns and pictures on her skin which disappear within an hour.

Dermographism or 'skin writing' is a type of urticaria, or hives - where a raised, itchy rash appears on the skin.

Ms Beal said: 'My skin is so sensitive that sometimes even clothes can feel uncomfortable.

“When I lie in bed, the quilt can feel like needles pressing into me.

'I can scratch my arm or my back and long lines will come up on my arms where I’ve scratched.

'But I think being able to draw on my skin is so cool - it’s my party trick.

She added: 'The etch a sketch comparison is pretty accurate - although I wish a good shake was enough to get rid of the itching.'

Dermatographia is thought to be caused when the cells under the surface of the skin release histamines under the slightest pressure.

Histamines are chemicals released in the body as part of an allergic reaction, causing the skin to swell.

Ms Bell only discovered her dermatographia just three years ago.

She said: 'It just came out of nowhere. At first I just thought my skin was getting more sensitive as I got older.

'I’d scratched my skin one day and it got all itchy and raised, but it was nothing serious enough to do anything about.

'But as it got worse I knew something wasn’t quite right - I could give my back a scratch and before I knew it my skin would turn red and be really painful.

'Eventually I Googled the condition and I just couldn’t believe it.'

She also discovered the unusual quirk of her condition just by chance.

She said: 'I don’t know why I thought of it, but after seeing my skin raise at the slightest touch, I wondered if I could draw on it.

More article and pictures at link:
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2573639/Im-human-Etch-Sketch-Mother-rare-condition-means-DRAW-skin-watch-disappear-hour.html#ixzz2v6YwEiDA
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Offline alicewonders

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Re: 'I'm a human Etch-a-Sketch':
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 11:58:06 AM »
I can't imagine having this condition.  I have problems with hives - they just come and go for no apparent reason - not often, thank God - but every once in a while.  They usually appear symmetrically on my body.  I've gone to dermatologists and they give you shots, creams, even tranquilizers.  The intense itching is almost unbearable sometimes.  Sometimes I've had allergic reactions to the medicine they give me. 

I've finally found out that if I ignore the hives, which is very hard to do - and don't touch them they will eventually go away on their own.  If I break over & scratch them, it just starts a chain reaction.  I have had to go to the emergency room before because it gets to a point where I feel like I'm going insane!  I don't know how this woman stands to "draw" on her skin and bring these whelps up!
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Offline happyg

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Re: 'I'm a human Etch-a-Sketch':
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 12:06:09 PM »
I can't imagine having this condition.  I have problems with hives - they just come and go for no apparent reason - not often, thank God - but every once in a while.  They usually appear symmetrically on my body.  I've gone to dermatologists and they give you shots, creams, even tranquilizers.  The intense itching is almost unbearable sometimes.  Sometimes I've had allergic reactions to the medicine they give me. 

I've finally found out that if I ignore the hives, which is very hard to do - and don't touch them they will eventually go away on their own.  If I break over & scratch them, it just starts a chain reaction.  I have had to go to the emergency room before because it gets to a point where I feel like I'm going insane!  I don't know how this woman stands to "draw" on her skin and bring these whelps up!

Your hives sound like an allergy! I used to get hives from time to time, too, but one time, I had an allergic reaction to Ceflacor, which was the worst itches I ever felt.

Offline alicewonders

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Re: 'I'm a human Etch-a-Sketch':
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 12:24:14 PM »
Yes, I think it is due to an allergic reaction - but I can find no common denominators of exposure to pin it down.  My dermatologist said he could run allergy tests, but a person might show an allergy one day and then not show a reaction to it another day.   I'm very sensitive to poison ivy and scratchy things, certain cosmetics...blah, blah, blah. 

I know it sounds crazy, but when it hits me now - instead of taking medication, I find that if I meditate and calm myself down - it works as well as the pills and creams.  Really better, I don't get the side effects.  It's weird.
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