Dermatographia Turns Your Skin Into A Canvas

Dermatographia Turns Your Skin Into A Canvas

People with dermatographia are, in essence, allergic to touch: rubbing or scratching the skin, even lightly, can trigger an inflammatory response that causes unusual puffiness, redness, and swelling in the affected area. This can be a source of embarrassment for sufferers, since even a rub of the eye or a scratch of the neck can leave them looking red and swollen. But some, like Brooklyn artist Ariana Page Russell, use it as an opportunity for artistic expression. As a way to own her condition, Russell began etching words, hearts, and abstract patterns into her skin, then taking artistic photographs of the resulting designs. Her online gallery has given many sufferers of dermatographia (which literally translates to "skin writing") a new outlook on their conditions.

01:48

from geobeats

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Touch allergy is also known as "skin-writing disease," since sufferers are able to scratch words and patterns into their skin. (0:11)

  • 2

    Also known as seminal plasma hypersensitivity, sex allergies are caused by the fluid carrying male sperm. (0:51)

  • 3

    Nickel allergies cause itchy rashes whenever the sufferer comes into contact with nickel. (1:14)

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