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Acne From Gluten?
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I was wondering if anyone else got cystic acne when coming in contact with gluten? I've been gluten free for about 3 months now but if I accidently come in contact with gluten I break out in huge cystic bumps that scar for months! I am a college student and I and really into fashion so this is a BIG deal to me. I spend almost everyday in the house because I'm scared to show my face....none of the acne medication I try helps the bumps go away, not even cprtisone shots!! I know that its a result of inflammation in my body but what can I do to fix it?? Please help....this is ruining my life! :(

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Perhaps it is not acne, but dermatitis herpetiformis. DH is a manifestation of celiac disease that presents on the skin instead of the small intestine. It is, nonetheless, a form of celiac disease, and triggered by gluten. It is escalated by iodine, which is found in sea foods and ordinary table salt.

We have a forum here about dermatitis herpetiformis.

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Perhaps it is not acne, but dermatitis herpetiformis. DH is a manifestation of celiac disease that presents on the skin instead of the small intestine. It is, nonetheless, a form of celiac disease, and triggered by gluten. It is escalated by iodine, which is found in sea foods and ordinary table salt.

We have a forum here about dermatitis herpetiformis.

I've read about DH but my issue doesnt sound like DH. My skin doesn't get itchy or red or anything it's just a raised flesh colored bump that forms under the skin. There isnt any whitehead or anything though and when the finally go down they scar REALLY badly.

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I never had acne as a teenager, and never had it from gluten, but twice since I went gluten free I have had acne break out all over my face as a reaction to things I have ingested. One time, it was from something in a sublingual B12 tablet, and another time it was from a supplement given to me by a naturopath which contained a high concentration of bioflavenoids from berries. In each case, just stopping the ingestion did not help - I needed topical medications as well to make it go away. Have never had it again. I would think it was from some specific allergy you have to something specific you are ingesting. Have you been able to narrow it down to something more specific than gluten? And I am so sory, I cannot remember now what I used to treat it, it was something my doctor prescribed and I believe it was a topical antibiotic. It was not Accutane.

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I agree with Peter that you probably have DH, because two of its hallmarks are that it takes a while for the lesions to heal and then they leave awful scars. From people's descriptions here on the Forum, some people's DH doesn't itch as much as others'. I also get it on my face, and it looks and feels a lot like cystic acne. I was diagnosed with that for many years as an adult, and it wasn't until several years after being diagnosed with celiac that I found out that I actually had DH.

However, I can also tell you that since going gluten free, I now get a skin reaction just from touching gluten. If I've had to touch wheat, I break out in a rash on my forearms, and last week I actually broke out all over my face after handling bread for a meeting.

Either way, it seems that you suffer from some sort of skin reaction from gluten, so you just have to be extra-careful. Also, as Peter mentioned, you should try to avoid iodine whenever possible in case you actually have DH.

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I agree with Peter that you probably have DH, because two of its hallmarks are that it takes a while for the lesions to heal and then they leave awful scars. From people's descriptions here on the Forum, some people's DH doesn't itch as much as others'. I also get it on my face, and it looks and feels a lot like cystic acne. I was diagnosed with that for many years as an adult, and it wasn't until several years after being diagnosed with celiac that I found out that I actually had DH.

However, I can also tell you that since going gluten free, I now get a skin reaction just from touching gluten. If I've had to touch wheat, I break out in a rash on my forearms, and last week I actually broke out all over my face after handling bread for a meeting.

Either way, it seems that you suffer from some sort of skin reaction from gluten, so you just have to be extra-careful. Also, as Peter mentioned, you should try to avoid iodine whenever possible in case you actually have DH.

Thank You! I'm going to try a low-iodine diet and see how my skin reacts.

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A vitamin defiency can also cause acne. Some cases of (I believe)zinc defiency cause the acne to be specifically around the mouth. It could be as simple as drinking more water for the missing zinc levels. Try to take a gluten free daily supplement.

I went to a dermatologist which promptly put me on antibiotics for acne outbreak around my mouth. He also added extra skin care ointment and mild cleanser. 3 months of treament and it didn't make any difference. Someone on this board mentioned it (zinc defiency)and I started taking a daily supplement and it was gone within a week. I told the dermatologist about what happened. He was very smug and said, "I just love it when people think they are smarter than doctors because of the internet." in his snarkiest tone. Then I reminded him I disclosed on the information forms that I was Celiac on a gluten free diet so he could have at least suspected a vitamin defiency.

My friend called to ask how I had cleared up the acne outbreak, because she was suffering the same. I told her. She supplemented, it cleared. She just got diagnosed with Celiac.

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I find this thread very interesting. I did a 7 day gluten challenge back in the beginning of April after having been gluten-free since November. In addition to a host of other things my face broke out terribly. I have always suffered from minor cystic acne (red painful bumps on my chin and forehead) since I was a teen. I did various rounds of abx and topicals back in high school. My skin was perfect during both pregnancies and usually very good when I'm on hormonal birth control so I've always attributed it hormone swings. While I'm not ruling that out as my trigger, I couldn't help but notice how awful my skin got the latter half of the week of my gluten challenge and the week that followed. My forehead had gosh what seemed like a dozen painful red bumps of varying sizes and I had 1 on my chin. I also noticed that my back broke out too up near my shoulders and back of my neck. The spots don't itch and don't develop into whitehead or black heads. They don't scar. Just look inflamed and I spent way too much time trying to cover them up with foundation. Now that I'm back to being 100% gluten-free for the past 15 days, my skin is back to being clear.

Coincidence or gluten? Hmmm.....

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I was wondering if anyone else got cystic acne when coming in contact with gluten? I've been gluten free for about 3 months now but if I accidently come in contact with gluten I break out in huge cystic bumps that scar for months! I am a college student and I and really into fashion so this is a BIG deal to me. I spend almost everyday in the house because I'm scared to show my face....none of the acne medication I try helps the bumps go away, not even cprtisone shots!! I know that its a result of inflammation in my body but what can I do to fix it?? Please help....this is ruining my life! :(

I am 39 and never had much of a problem with "acne" as such but since my DH breakout I now know, in hindsight, that the pimples I've had all my life are DH. They are clearing now, gluten free.

My DH has been head to toe and every other part of my body it is insanely itchy. Often it is painful like acid being sprayed onto my body. Sometimes I itch so bad I get the worst of bruising like I've been hit with a clenched fist. But...

my face lesions don't itch. The are a bit irritating and I want to 'burst' them and/or they get dry and I remove the dry skin but nothing like the rest of my body.

Don't dismissed gluten as being the cause. Remember: lots of water!!!

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I get these acne like zits on my neck and back whenever I eat gluten. They hurt so bad and when they go away I'm left with a scar also that goes away eventually. I always had them for the longest time just not as many as when I'd get glutened. My older sister who also has celiac had them as well and she changed her shampoo and conditioner to an organic one and hers went away. I followed suit and mine went away too! I currently use a brand called pureology and my skin has never felt better. Maybe try changing your shampoo and conditioner for awhile and see if it helps you like me. Good luck!

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I've struggled with acne since I was 15. I go on topical routines and antibiotics, ween myself off, end up breaking out and having to go back. I went on Yaz when I was 16 which was like a miracle pill, but you probably have heard all of the bad press on it.

I was really hoping my gluten free diet (almost 1 year) would be the answer. Unfortunately I had a breakout a few months ago at age 20 and am back on my routine. It seems that gluten free wasn't the answer.

I'm really curious about trying a zinc supplement. Also I never considered the possibility of DH, I only get acne on my face.

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pianoland,

Please try eliminating iodine in your diet for a while--you might be surprised to see your "acne" disappear.

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I had cystic acne on my face.

It never cleared with antibiotics.

It scarred.

Years and years later I got typical DH lesions that looked more like blisters and weeped.

Both cleared on going gluten free after I found out about Celiac here.

I now think it was just two different kinds of lesions but both DH.

Now I have no breakouts unless I get gluten.

Then they can either be deep painful lesions like cystic acne or a superficial skin blister...but both hurt like hell and scar.

The good news is I now only get one or two instead of a whole face full.

Keep reading about DH.

The lesions take many forms.

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pianoland,

Please try eliminating iodine in your diet for a while--you might be surprised to see your "acne" disappear.

I've never heard of this...why iodine? What foods would I have to eliminate? Temporarily or permanently?

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If you have DH, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, the Skin form of Celiac, then you may have to limit iodine in your diet. Thyca.com can help you limit iodine. It still allows the minimum of iodine as we all need a certain amount but the amount we actually need is quite small. Limiting iodine is temporiary if you have DH. You limit it until your lesions have all healed. Gluten, however, needs to be eliminated completely and totally even in trace amounts for this to work.

There is another condition where acne is caused by iodine.

Google iodine and acne and you will find it.

http://www.ehow.com/about_5368460_foods-high-iodine-avoid-acne.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/335650-foods-high-in-iodine-to-avoid-with-acne/

Here are a couple of links.

You need to figure out if you have iodine sensitive acne, or if you actually have DH Celiac.

Hope this helps.

Thyca.com is the site I used and recommend to those with DH.

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I get breakouts whenever I eat gluten, but ever since I changed my shampoo and conditioner to gluten-free the breakouts seem less severe and don't leave scars like they did before. My face is clear now. :)

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You also need to be careful of face washes, soaps, moisturizers, toners, foundations, etc. etc. There is wheat in almost all of these products which can be purchased over the counter. The hidden ingredient is called tocopheryl, vitamin E usually extracted from wheat. Also products with the ingredients vitamin E are probably extracted from wheat as well. I was gluten free for a year and still had horrible acne. Once I found out I most likely had my skin problems from gluten in my products I switched entirely, and got everything made for me gluten-free, preservative free and water based, and I swear by it. I hardly get acne with the exception around my time of the month.

If you'd like more info message me. Hope it all works out for you!

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I have been battling acne for 20 + years. I have done tetracycline, erithromyacin, RetinA, Aczone....multiple birth control pills. The only thing that helped was Yaz birth control, but I had to off it a year ago. Being gluten free didn't help, much to my disappointment. When I ditched casein as well...what a difference!

Inflammation is at the root of acne- identify what foods are causing your inflammation, and you will likely see a difference.

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