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Dh Vs Bullous Pemphigoid

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 04:19 AM

My father has been on a gluten free diet for about a year. He tried the gluten-free diet to see if it would improve his chronic skin problems. He has a 15 year hx of itchy skin that presented as tiny blisters and then turned into red, itchy sores. This has been primarily on his back, arms and legs. The diet seemed to help at first, and by the time he had blood work, he had been gluten free for several months. His blood work was negative for celiac. Later he had a biopsy, which was also negative, but my Mom thinks the dermatologist didn't do the biopsy correctly, because it was not taken from the edge of the lesion.

Last night, my Mom called to tell me that Dad was having a terrible breakout - his back is a mass of sores. She read something in a magazine about a autoimmune skin disorder called Bullous Pemphigoid (hope I'm spelling it right), and thinks this may be his problem. His dermatologist has never been able to give him any type of satisfactory dx and he has not responded to any of the psoriasis or eczema preparations he's been given.

Does anyone have any knowlege of this disorder? Is it commonly mistaken for DH or vice versa?

I also want to comment, that I don't believe my dad has been completely gluten free. He is 78 and is getting mildly forgetful. I can think of 3 occasions that he ate obvious gluten containing foods without thinking. Most recently he ate the cone of an ice cream cone. That was 2 weeks ago. Could it take 2 weeks for a DH reaction to occur?

Any comments are appreciated.
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Mom to:
Hayley age 4, gluten-free at 26 months
Clark age 3, negative celiac bloodwork

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 08:06 AM

I don't know anything about the other condition but do know about DH. After doing a search for bullous pemphigoid it does look at least somewhat similar. You also need a biopsy to confirm that one.

The blood tests for celiac disease were not valid, of course, because your father had been gluten-free or nearly so for a few months. If the dermatologist didn't do the biopsy properly that would also lead to a negative result. I don't know how long it takes DH to return after ingesting gluten, but I understand that even small mistakes can bring it back.

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 09:00 PM

Time till outbreak varies from person to person. There are several skin disorders that appear similar to DH or can result from undiagnosed DH. I had Sweet's Syndrome long before anyone gave a thought to celiac and DH. My daughter had one of those whose name takes up half a line and I can never remember as well.

The location of the outbreak also varies from person to person. What you described is what our DH looks like. It also has an odd, intense itch. It is different than a histamine (bug bite) itch and is more like thousands of tiny needles attacking from underneath the skin.

The location of the biopsy is important. It is also important that the specimen be handled in a specific way. We had to contact our dermatologist and advise her of an outbreak so that she could arrange for some special equipment and a special pickup from the lab. You might want to do a little research on the process and ask some specific questions of your dad about how his was handled.
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South Georgia
9 yrs gluten-free
...also DH, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, osteopenia, hypothyroid...

After almost 10 years, I am doing soooo much better!



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Posted 25 April 2005 - 04:24 PM

Tell your Dad to use emu lotion -I had that re scaly rash all over my legs and the emu oil did help - ofcourse i also stopped eating Gluten!
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Posted 26 April 2005 - 01:14 AM

Sounded like shingles to me. Has he been treated for shingles?? I *think* that involves anti-viral medication.... but I'm not entirely sure.
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