Dermatitis herpetiformis (patient information)
Dermatitis herpetiformis On the Web
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Dermatitis Herpetiformis (also called Duhring's disease), is a chronic itchy rash which is frequently associated with Celiac Disease. The rash is made of papules and vesicles which are present on different parts of the body mostly commonly on neck, trunk, buttocks and knees. It is an autoimmune mediated skin condition, which is IgA mediated reaction and is associated with gluten sensitivity of small bowel. There is presence of antibodies which leads to positive serology test results.
Dermatitis herpetiformis is associated with high prevalence of other autoimmune diseases.
What are the symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis?
Dermatitis herpetiformis is usually extremely itchy. The bumps or blisters usually appear on the elbows, knees, back, and buttocks. In most cases, the rash is the same size and shape on both sides. Symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis tend to come and go.
What causes dermatitis herpetiformis?
The cause is unknown. However, dermatitis herpetiformis is frequently linked to gluten sensitivity (celiac sprue disease) in the small bowel.
Who is at highest risk?
Dermatitis herpetiformis occurs in both men and women, usually of age 20 years and older. Although children may be sometimes affected.
When to seek urgent medical care?
Call your health care provider if the rash is non- resolving despite of the treatment.
Dapsone, an antibiotic, may help most patients.
A strict gluten-free diet will also be recommended to help control the disease. Sticking to this diet may remove the need for medications and prevent later complications.
Where to find medical care for Dermatitis herpetiformis?
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
Dermatitis herpetiformis is an autoimmune disorder which is strongly associated with celiac disease, which also affects the small intestine. The rash can be controlled with gluten free diet and an inability to adhere to the diet increase the risk of intestinal cancer.
An autoimmune condition, like dermatitis herpetiformis increases the risk of other autoimmune diseases, most commonly it affects the thyroid gland. Also, it can lead to intestinal lymphomas and other complications can arise due to the adverse effects of pharmacological therapy.
The gluten free diet is known to control the progression of the disease. Although, nothing can prevent the disease itself.