Teen Allergic to Touch Uses Her Own Body as Human Etch-a-Sketch
18-year-old Emma Aldenryd creates her very own type of body art by running a pencil over her skin, which causes the lines she traces to swell and redden, leaving behind temporary doodles that fade after about 30 minutes. The Danish teen discovered that she had dermatographia three years ago, after a friend noticed that her arms turned red and swollen. Instead of hiding away her skin condition, Emma decided to embrace it and use her own body as an artistic medium.
“I started by drawing quite random stuff like a bunch of words that came to mind on my arms,” Emma Aldenryd said.
“People who I showed were really impressed, especially after they tried to do the same on their own skin but couldn’t do it,” the teen added. “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.”
Emma says that apart from an itchiness of the skin, the rare skin condition hasn’t had any negative impact on her life. Doctors prescribed antihistamines to mitigate the itchiness, but this also fixed the other symptoms, preventing her from doing her body art, so she stopped taking them.