Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is “a blistering, intensely itchy skin rash.” It’s usually symmetrical in shape and is most commonly located on the elbows, knees, buttocks, and upper back. People can experience the rash on other parts of the body, and severity of symptoms can vary.
Just as with celiac disease, the prescribed treatment is the gluten-free diet. Once you’ve completely eliminated gluten from the diet, an alleviation of the rash can take “months,” says the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD).
Additionally, Dapsone can cause an improvement in DH “in days.” The drug does have side effects, and for this reason, treatment begins with small doses of the drug, gradually increased until the symptoms become suppressed.
Due to the side effects of Dapsone, blood tests will be conducted weekly or bi-weekly for the first three months of treatment. According to the AOCD, “There are a few alternative treatments if Dapsone cannot be used (sulfapyridine, tetracycline), however these do not work as well.”
For diagnosis and treatment, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
From our home to yours, Tina Turbin.