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Uncontrollable Itching

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Hi everyone,

I have been gluten-free now since Sept 1st of 2003. I have only had a couple epsidoes of accidental gluten ingestion, and none of them have been recent. However, for the past couple weeks, I have had INTENSE itching all over my body - especially my back, buttocks, scalp, neck, chin, neck. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. It actually keeps me awake at night & wakes me from a deep sleep. I also have red spots all over my body. The spots sort of look like acne, but I know they are not acne. I have some acne or spots on my face and I have white sores in my mouth (inside of my cheek in 2 spots). I also have itchy patches and red spots on my scalp. I have several very prominent red bumps on my neck. They actually look like HIVES.

I feel like this could be related to gluten, but not sure if it's something I am eating or something i am putting on my skin. I have not been diagnosed with DH, but suspect that i may actually have it. My case of celiac disease was quite severe with multiple health problems for many years before diagnosis. I am waiting to see Dr Green at the Celiac Center in NY City, but I can't get in there until April unless someone cancels an appt before then. I have seen a nutritionist there, though, who has been EXTREMELY helpful.

My question is this: Does anyone haave experience with this after going gluten-free? Could it be environmental (soap, shampoo, hair dye, laundry detergent, dry cleaning chemicals, etc)? I changed my hair color on Dec. 24 at a salon and had never been to that particular salon before. It didn't occur to me to think about the hair dye. Are there laundry detergents that are better than others for people with DH or celiac disease? I think I want to err on the side of caution now and go completely gluten-free in everything that touches my body...just until i can get this itching and redness to subside. I also recently bought a new brand of laundry detergent, not even thinking that would have an effect on my body. I just cannot seem to figure out what is causing this !

Help !!!!!!



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I sure sounds like DH to me. You know something, get an appointment with a dermatalogist before your appt with the dr in NYC. You can't go until April like this. However until then, what laundry detergent do you use? I'm from Canada and I use Sunlight, it's very mild. Watch the shampoo and conditioner you used as you have some bumps in your scalp, go to a health food store and get a mild all natural one. I would skip makeup if you wear it. I would also look at a health food store or drug store for a lotion that's very mild with no scent. Ask the pharmacist for something that treats eczema or psoriasis. As for the sores in your mouth, I get them when I use a toothpaste that have gluten in it. Use Tom's of Maine toothpaste. Since I don't have DH but have had some skin problems read about DH on this site. They provide alot of info. Lastly, get some Epsom salt, put them in a warm bath and try to relax. Oh yeah I recommend not dying your hair, as you could have some open sores and could be infected by the dye.

Hope you feel better.


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Hi Crystal,

Thanks for your reply. You know, after posting my comments last night, i went to a couple of celiac websites and looked at various pictures of DH. Some of them look a lot like what I have right now. I have been treated for excema in the past and my eldest sister has SEVERE psoriasis (had chemotherapy twice to treat it - experimental - and was hospitalized a couple times).

I use epsom salt baths a lot. It was the only thing that helped my excema.

Laundry detergent - I bought TIDE FREE last week when we ran out of ALL FREE AND CLEAR. That's when the itching started. So I switched immediately to an organic brand.

Toothpaste - I use colgate or crest. Both are supposedly gluten-free in the US.

Shampoo - I tend to use head and shoulders, because it helps with the itching. however, since I had my hair colored, I have been using L'Oreal Color Vive shampoo for color-treated hair. I have not seen any ingredients on the label that look 'suspect'

All my skin makeup is gluten-free.

My hand lotion is gluten-free.

The places I am getting the red spots are places I don't use makeup or lotion, except for the small spots on my face.

I think you're right about the dermatologist, though. I think I should try to get an appt soon. It's been a year since I have seen my dermatologist. The strange thing is that none of my dermatologists have ever said anything about the possibility of DH, but then again, none of my doctors said anything about the possiblity of celiac disease until 6 months ago!


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It seems like your doing everything right. I've been to the dermatologist about this discoloration on my back, it's not itchy or anything. He took a biopsy of it and it said nothing. He is totally baffled, he even invitited me to go to convention of dermatologists so his collegues could take a look. I said "no thanks" I'm tired of being a specimen. I hope you find what's ailing you.

Let me know



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