Dermatitis herpetiformis

Category: Illness or disabilities



Introduction and description


Dermatitis herpetiformis also called Duhring-Brocq disease is Eczema caused by gluten intolerance.  It is one of a host of symptoms that can be caused by gluten, in those who are intolerant.

The symptoms are identical to all eczema symptoms – an intensely itchy rash which can occur all over the body -  on arms, thighs, knees, and back. It is directly related to celiac disease, and goes when the person is given a gluten free diet.

This said, it is essential that the person is tested, as Eczema has a large number of causes, and these additional causes need to be investigated before the assumption is made that the eczema is caused by gluten.

We conducted a retrospective chart review of the UofC Celiac Center clinic charts from January 2002 to October 2014. Demographics, serologic testing, intestinal biopsies, and extra-intestinal symptoms at presentation, 12, 24, and greater than 24 months were recorded. .. A total of 737 patients with biopsy confirmed CeD or skin biopsy confirmed DH were included. Extra-intestinal symptoms included:

  • abnormal liver enzymes,
  • arthralgia/arthritis,
  • dermatitis herpetiformis (DH),
  • alopecia,
  • fatigue,
  • headache,
  • anemia,
  • stomatitis,
  • myalgias,
  • psychiatric disorders,
  • rashes,
  • seizures,
  • neuropathy,
  • short stature,
  • delayed puberty,
  • osteoporosis and
  • infertility.

Children and adults with CeD have similar rates of extra-intestinal manifestations. In children short stature, fatigue and headache were most common while anemia, fatigue and headache/psychiatric disorders were most common in adults. Children on a strict GFD showed faster and higher rates of symptom resolution as compared to adults. Unresponsive children with short stature must be assessed for comorbidities.  PMID:  27755346

please see Eczema and also Food allergy, for more details.

References and further reading

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print]  Extra-intestinal Manifestations of Celiac Disease: Effectiveness of the Gluten Free Diet. Jericho H1, Sansotta N, Guandalini S.

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