However, there are a number of rashes and skin conditions that can sometimes appear similar to scratch marks. This symptom can be quite annoying and distract you from everyday life. When people who have dermatographia lightly scratch their skin, the scratches redden into a raised wheal similar to hives. People who have dermatographia, or skin writing, experience this phenomenon frequently. Urticaria and angioedema. This term refers to conditions in which a person experiences injury or other undesirable physical effects while sleeping. Accessed Aug. 16, 2015. Accessed Aug. 16, 2015. It’s a rash that often follows chemotherapy but can also be caused by other factors, like eating Shiitake mushrooms. Try sleeping alone temporarily or altering your sleep environment to prevent accidental scratches. Most people report developing scratches on their arms and legs, although that’s not the only place they can appear. Adkinson NF, et al. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. The swirly mark or scratch can appear on a persons body, and on television shows and commercials. The cause of dermatographia is unknown, but it can be triggered in some people by infections, emotional upset or medications such as penicillin. Severe scratch marks when you wake up could be caused by: The treatment or prevention of unexplained scratches depends on the cause. It’s not as common, but it’s still something to think about. Simple things can trigger symptoms of dermatographia. Prevent self-scratching in your sleep. The allergen believed to cause this is yet to be discovered. Fortunately, most surface-level scratches should not cause permanent damage to the skin. It’s estimated that up to 1% of the world’s population will experience unexplained scratches at some point in their life. Hives are raised bumps or spots but a cluster of hives could be mistaken for scratches. All Rights Reserved. Learn about symptoms in cats and humans, and get facts on…. These raised, scratch-like marks will usually go away on their own within 30 minutes or so. In some patients this works, and in others, it does nothing. Without evidence of either, you should assume that it’s either due to emotional stress, dry skin, tight clothing, or hot/cold stressors. Others believe it is related to genetics. Rashes are usually caused by skin contact with some kind of irritant or allergen, or from taking certain medications. If the scratches still appear (after ruling out self-scratching), they could be coming from a pet or person that shares your bed. It’s important that you keep your skin hydrated to prevent this symptom from reoccurring.
See a dermatologist if the scratch marks: Scratch-like rashes from flagellate erythema, for example, will usually go away on their own in time.
Dice JP, et al. Try wearing soft cotton gloves to sleep or filing off the sharp edges from your fingernails. View photos and learn more about this condition. The condition itself can last for months or years. 2015;3:400. You can contract cat scratch fever from cats infected with Bartonella henselae bacteria. Any skin condition that causes a frequent urge to scratch may increase your risk. The origin of mysterious scratches isn’t entirely clear. These scratches usually come in threes. Excess stress is a common problem for many people. The human body is incredibly complex, so it’s possible that you have a gene that’s leading to your symptom. Normal allergy or mosquito-borne disease? If you share a bed with a person, dog, or cat, you could get scratch marks from them during the night. They believe that it could be due to wearing tight clothing, anxiety, emotional stress, hot/cold stressors, or pressure from bed sheets.
But if that doesn’t work, here are six other hacks to try. SafeSymptoms.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Skin can also break out in hives as an allergic reaction to eating certain kinds of food. In most cases, they’re harmless and will go away on their own and never come back. Dermatographia is a condition in which lightly scratching your skin causes raised, red lines where you've scratched. Dermatographia can occur at any age, but it tends to be more common in teenagers and young adults.
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