Is It True? Can A Dermatologist Test For Dh?
Posted 28 January 2005 - 10:29 PM
Posted 29 January 2005 - 04:52 AM
I'm sure someone that has had this done can explain it better. My DH (I'm sure thats what it is) is not extensive and its looking somewhat better since I've been gluten free (since september 2004). So I'm hoping it will slowly disappear on its own with my gluten-free diet.
Posted 29 January 2005 - 06:13 AM
I had DH for most of my life but we wrote it off as being extremely sensitive to an odd poison ivy outbreak or allergies. I would get "PI outbreaks" even in the winter. We thought I had just come into contact with it from summer gardening tools or a neighbor burning off their land, that sort of thing. Now that I know what it is and have had a DH outbreak and PI concurrently, I know that they even "itch" differently.
When I accidently get into some gluten, the outbreak begins with itchy, sensitive feeling skin. It gets kind of reddish and then up comes the rash. Usually the rash arrives within 24-48 hours after the initial symptoms, has what looks similar to pus pockets you might see with PI, an ant bite, or chicken pox though whiter, and "itches" intensely. My experience is that the "itch" is more like having a few hundred tiny needles tapping at you from under the skin...so much so that you just want to dig them out with your fingernails. After the initial outbreak begins to clear, they come and go for five or six months. They scab over and scar over, then break back open again off and on. They can leave discolored areas on the skin that can be cleared up with a lot of effort and Mederma or a similar product. Once you know what it is, you can sense an outbreak coming and recognize the differences between it and other problems. It takes a little experience, though.
Also, if you scratch much you can trigger a secondary infection that requires an antibiotic to clear it up. Keeping them moist seems to help. I use Clindagel and then keep it moist with a product containing petroleum jelly and some natural ingredients (camphor, methol, etc) to help ease the itch. Your dermatologist might have some different suggestions.
While the outbreaks I have read seem to be in a different location, mine often begin in my hairline, on my chin, and on my neck and shoulders. Sometimes they will also be on my arms, trunk, and legs. My daughter's usually arrive on her legs then "spread" to her arms and face. This spreading factor combined with the intense itchiness is what I think caused us to associate it the PI...not having a clue about DH at the time.
From what I have read and my own experience, it takes more than a year gluten-free for the rash to fully disappear. I was closer to a year and a half though I did see progress after a shorter period of time.
Hope this helps. The good news is that if it is associated with the celiac disease/DH problem, going gluten-free will eventually correct it. Don't be surprised it you have it a little worse initially upon going gluten-free. Ours did but got much better the longer I stayed gluten-free.
9 yrs gluten-free
...also DH, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, osteopenia, hypothyroid...
After almost 10 years, I am doing soooo much better!
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