Dermatitis herpetiformis treatment

Human beings are prone to getting all kinds of skin disorders. Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is one skin disorder that is commonly seen in someone who also has celiac disease. When a person has this skin disorder their skin itches intensely. Children rarely have DH but it is possible for some to develop it. Most people who develop dermatitis herpetiformis are 20 years old or older. This skin disorder is no respecter of gender. Both men and women can develop DH however it is more commonly found in men of northern European descent. This skin disorder is also called Duhring’s Disease. Many in the medical field believe it is an immune response to chronic exposure to gluten in the diet. The immune response is thought to inflame circulatory cells in response to eating foods with gluten. About 1 in every 10,000 people is diagnosed with this skin disorder. Anyone who has dermatitis herpetiformis is gluten intolerant. Instead of celiac disease where the lesions affect the small intestines in response to eating gluten foods, DH suffers have lesions on their skin.

Dermatitis herpetiformis treatment typically is used to alleviate the intense burning, stinging and itching around the elbows, knees, scalp, buttocks and back that is caused by the skin lesions. People who scratch these areas only end up making their condition worse. The skin will develop small blisters that can break out and appear like a rash or hives. These skin lesions are more prevalent at pressure points on the body. One medication used in dermatitis herpetiformis treatment is Dapsone and it can improve the skin disorder in days. There are some very serious side effects associated with this medication. If the person is able to stay on a gluten free diet the need for medication is greatly reduced and can be totally eliminated. If the person takes Dapsone they need to have bi-weekly blood tests. Other drugs that can be taken for DH are sulfapyridine and tetracycline.

One curative dermatitis herpetiformis treatment is to stop eating gluten altogether. Gluten is the protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye and Triticieae. These substances are found in most cereals unless they are oatmeal or rice cereals. The gluten free diet is the most effective treatment. The problem is that gluten is in all kind of foods that we eat now. People who are sensitive to it will accidentally ingest it once in awhile, especially when eating out. Before a diagnosis of dermatitis herpetiformis is made a skin biopsy must be done. Many times blood tests are done that look for certain antibodies. Dermatitis herpetiformis treatment is a lifelong process. Certain time DH can be worse than at other times. If the person can not totally eliminate gluten they should greatly reduce their intake of it. UV light used as a treatment for DH can bring about a certain amount of relief. Some medical doctors will prescribe Clyclosporine as one form of treatment for the skin condition. Cluclosporine should be used sparing as it can increase the risk for intestinal lymphomas. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory treatments are not effective as treatments for this skin disorder. Gulphapyridine or sulphamethoxypyridazine are also used at time to help suppress the manifestation of skin lesions. Using such medications can take months to bring about relief.

Before being treated for this skin disorder a medical doctor goes over what kinds of treatment options there are. If you have this skin disorder it is really to your advantage to cut out all foods that contain gluten from your diet. For more information on gluten allergies and dermatitis herpetiformis consult with your medical doctors and ask for blood tests that can properly diagnose it before starting any kind of treatments.

Last updated on Aug 30th, 2010 and filed under Skin Care. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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