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Information on Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Written by Megan Kinder with some information gathered information from works by Hull CM, Zone JJ, including the 3rd edition of "Dermatitis herpetiformis and linear IgA bullous dermatosis. In: Bolognia" and works from Habif TP, including his 5th edition of "Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy." [email protected]

Information on Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis is an extremely itchy rash consisting of bumps and blisters. The rash is chronic, which means it continues over a long period.

What are the Causes of Dermatitis Herpetiformis?

Everyone online these days seems to be searching for Information on Dermatitis herpetiformis. That's no surprise, as the rash usually begins in people age 20 and older -- those who grew up in the internet generation. Children can sometimes be affected. The disease  is seen in both men and women.

Thought to be an autoimmune disorder, the cause is widely considered unknown. Dermatitis herpetiformis has been linked to gluten sensitivity -- or celiac sprue disease -- in the small bowel.

Symptoms and more Information on Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis tend to come and go. Symptoms include:

  • Extremely itchy bumps or blisters, most often on the elbows, knees, back, and buttocks
  • The rash is usually the same size and shape on both sides
  • The rash can look like eczema
  • Some patients may have scratch marks instead of blisters

Exams and tests, for more Information on Dermatitis Herpetiformis

A skin biopsy and direct immunofluorescence test of the skin are performed in most cases. Your doctor may also recommend a biopsy of the intestines. Blood tests may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.

An antibiotic called dapsone is extremely effective.

A strict gluten-free diet will also be recommended to help control the disease. Sticking to this diet may eliminate the need for medications and prevent later complications.

Immunosuppressive medications may be used, but are less effective.

The disease may be well-controlled with treatment. Without treatment, there may be a significant risk of intestinal cancer.

Thyroid disease may be found in many patients with dermatitis herpetiformis. Patients are also more likely to develop certain cancers of the intestines.

I've recieved a lot of emails from people searching for Information on Dermatitis Herpetiformis, and many of them are wondering "When to Contact a Medical Professional". It is advised that you call your health care provider if you have a dermatitis herpetiformis rash that continues despite home treatment. To email me your input on the topic, I can be reached at [email protected]

Preventing Dermatitis Herpetiformis

There is no known prevention of this disease. People with this condition may be able to prevent complications by avoiding foods that contain gluten.

If you're looking for even more information on Dermatitis Herpetiformis, try searching for "Duhring disease". this is a little known alternate name for the disease.

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