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Teenager Has Rare Condition That Turns Her Skin Into 'Human Etch A Sketch'

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Teenager Has Rare Condition That Turns Her Skin Into 'Human Etch A Sketch'

Featured Image Credit: Caters

A woman with a rare condition that causes her skin to swell up red has decided to turn it into something interesting by making her skin a human Etch A Sketch.


Basically, 18-year-old Emma Aldenryd has something called dermatographia, which means that her skin reacts and comes up red whenever it is touched with anything.

Rather than getting annoyed about it - she claims it doesn't hurt that much, anyway - she decided to start creating little pieces of art on her skin using the disorder.

The designs she draws on herself are exactly like an Etch A Sketch, in that they disappear after only a short while visible on her skin.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

Emma, who is from Aarhus in Denmark, said: "I started by drawing quite random stuff like a bunch of words that came to mind on my arms.

"I spelt small words and showed them to my friends as a party trick.

"People who I showed were really impressed, especially after they tried to do the same on their own skin but couldn't do it.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

"Lots of people question whether it hurts, but my dermatographia has never hurt.

"I did get some wild reactions and some people thought I was dying.

"It's really itchy but I learnt to ignore it. It hasn't had any impact on my life."

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

She found out she had the condition three years ago when a friend pointed out to her that her skin was red and swollen, and - strangely enough - her two cousins actually have the same thing, although she's never met anyone else with it.

Two people is a lot, as most people probably haven't even heard of it at all.

Despite being prescribed some antihistamines by her doctor, she realised that she wouldn't be able to make her doodles anymore if she took them, because they'd stop the swelling.

So, she sacked the course off.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

Now, she shares her doodles on an Instagram page called @dermatographia_.

She continued: "I try and do lots of symbols that everybody will understand like smiley faces or well-known words like Hi.

"I do the designs with a pencil so that the lines are more crisp.

"If you did them with anything else it would make the designs less readable as the swelling would become broader.

"Usually, I do them quite quickly, in under a minute so that the designs are even when I photograph them, for aesthetic reasons."

Topics: Interesting, Weird, Health

Tom Wood
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