In this week’s giveaway post I mentioned how much I hate mosquitos. Who likes itching bumps on their body? It’s annoying.
That’s why I don’t envy people with dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). They have to deal with very itchy, watery blisters. DH is associated with celiac disease, and the blisters appear when a person with DH eats gluten.
While people with DH can and often do have intestinal damage from eating gluten, that damage is usually less severe than it is with celiac disease. The reaction is primarily one of the skin.
The blisters can appear anywhere on the body but most commonly affect pressure points such as elbows, knees, and buttocks. The blisters occur on both sides of the body (not just one elbow).
Interestingly, DH is more common in males than females and is not seen very often in young children. It is diagnosed by skin biopsy in the area of ruptured blisters. The biopsy tests for IgA deposits. Celiac tests may also be done, but DH alone does not result in positive blood tests.
DH is treated with a gluten free diet. As with celiac disease, it is a life long diagnosis and treatment. DH may also be treated with the drug Dapsone, but the drug is not intended to replace a gluten-free diet.
I’m not an expert on DH, and I’m only trying to introduce you to the problem. You can read more at the following links:
Do you have dermatitis herpetiformis or know someone who does? What’s your experience with it?
Photo credit: ratranch