Dermatitis herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis is long-term (chronic), recurring skin rash with many small fluid-filled skin sores (blisterlike sores). After healing, the sores often leave discolored areas and sometimes scarring.

The cause of dermatitis herpetiformis is unknown, but it may sometimes be related to celiac disease, which interferes with a person's ability to eat foods containing gluten—a form of protein found in some grains (notably wheat, barley, and rye). Celiac disease is considered a type of immune disorder and is treated by adopting a strict gluten-free diet. This diet may also help improve dermatitis herpetiformis.

Last Updated: June 23, 2008

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Jerry S. Trier, MD - Gastroenterology

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