Dermatitis Heretiformis

Dermatitis Heretiformis

What is dermatitis herpetiformis?

Dermatitis herpetiformis is a rare, very itchy and persistent blistering skin condition, affecting between 0.4 and 3.5 people per 100,000 of the European population. It typically affects Caucasians aged between 15-40 years and is more common in men, but can occur in all age and racial groups.

What causes dermatitis herpetiformis?

Dermatitis herpetiformis is associated with a bowel disorder known as coeliac disease. Almost all those with dermatitis herpetiformis are likely to have subtle microscopic changes of coeliac disease in their bowel.

In both dermatitis herpetiformis and coeliac disease, patients are intolerant of gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley flour and in some other grains such as couscous and bulghur. An auto-immune response to gluten plays an important part in causing the rash of dermatitis herpetiformis.

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