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  • Kristen Campbell
    Kristen Campbell

    Five Common Skin Conditions Associated With Celiac Disease


    Gluten intolerance often presents itself in ways unexpected, including several common skin conditions.  Ranging in severity from dermatitis herpetiformis to dry skin, avoiding gluten may have more to do with your plaguing skin concerns than you imagined.

    Here are some common dermatological concerns associated with celiac disease:

    • Dermatitits Herpetiformis—This painful, blistery condition can be very stressful, especially when misdiagnosed.  An inflamed, itchy rash, dermatitis herpetiformis begins as tiny white filled blisters or red spots around hair follicles.  Trying to hide or disguise DH, as well as trying to treat it when misdiagnosed can be incredibly stressful for a person.
    • Eczema—Eating a gluten-free diet is becoming an increasingly popular mode of treatment for eczema.  Those who are gluten intolerant also tend to have more advanced psoriasis.Psoriasis—Like eczema, psoriasis has in many cases shown improvement when the person is put on a gluten free diet.  In Scott Adams’ 2004 article, he also mentioned that psoriasis in those with celiac tends to be more severe.
    • Acne—Links between celiac and malabsorption, as well as hormonal upset can contribute to a greater production of acne.  Many birth control pills boast promises of clearer skin, their method is through hormone manipulation.  Because many who suffer from gluten intolerance also experience a disruption of normal hormone function, this disharmony can lead to problems with acne. 
    • Dry Skin—Also correlated to malabsorption, dry skin is a very common complaint amongst those with celiac.  But this condition is one that many people see even after the prescribed treatment of a gluten free diet.  Why?  Vitamin E rich grains are vital to maintaining skin harmony, but since many who are gluten intolerant begin avoiding grains completely—even those grains that are gluten-free, getting that important Vitamin E in their diets can become a challenge.


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    All of this is fine and good and true. Problem is that what I fail to see in most articles about eczema in general is that even though one wisely chooses to use natural methods of combating it, most are still short term solutions.

     

    While in the midst of an inflamed eczema attack, immediate relief is an issue, yet the underlying cause is rarely addressed.

     

    Though doctors and researchers have not yet put there finger on the "ONE" cause of eczema, they all pretty much agree that it is brought on by an underlying allergy usually brought on by heredity.

     

    As you pointed out, gluten is a large contributor to this ailment, (i.e. an allergic reaction to foods). Therefore a person could (not very often, but could) suffer from eczema their whole life unless they cure the allergy.

     

    There is no one product that is going to do it all. Therefore no particular product recommendation, but while treating the symptoms, one should address the root problem... the immune system.

     

    Heal the immune system, and the body can do a pretty good job of healing itself - including eczema.

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    I'm going to have to show this article to my husband. I've been trying to get him to try going gluten-free for forever. Maybe the possibility that it could help with his eczema will be enough to make him finally give it a try.

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    Very interesting! I thought I had noticed that my eczema was milder since going gluten-free. Since my primary symptoms are anemia and not gastric intestinal discomfort, this news might make it easier to tell when I've been accidentally exposed to some hidden gluten in my diet.

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    All of this is fine and good and true. Problem is that what I fail to see in most articles about eczema in general is that even though one wisely chooses to use natural methods of combating it, most are still short term solutions.

     

    While in the midst of an inflamed eczema attack, immediate relief is an issue, yet the underlying cause is rarely addressed.

     

    Though doctors and researchers have not yet put there finger on the "ONE" cause of eczema, they all pretty much agree that it is brought on by an underlying allergy usually brought on by heredity.

     

    As you pointed out, gluten is a large contributor to this ailment, (i.e. an allergic reaction to foods). Therefore a person could (not very often, but could) suffer from eczema their whole life unless they cure the allergy.

     

    There is no one product that is going to do it all. Therefore no particular product recommendation, but while treating the symptoms, one should address the root problem... the immune system.

     

    Heal the immune system, and the body can do a pretty good job of healing itself - including eczema.

    I've been on a gluten free diet for five years and using the best whole food supplements for 15 years. I STILL have eczema..I have to say it's a bit better, but I just can't figure out the ONE thing to make it go away. I did notice that removing potatoes, tomatoes and green peppers (I think these are the nightshade foods??) from my diet immediately turned around the inflamed eczema I had on my eyelid. 3-4 days after taking them entirely out to my diet....the eczema on my eye was completely gone. But what's on my elbows and scalp didn't go away. It is however not inflamed. I would sure love to heal my immune system...if that's what it takes, but not sure what else to do.

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    Guest Fran Greenfield

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    What I have is very dry scaly skin, and I will presume that this is also part of being gluten intolerant. I sort of hoped that in having been diagnosed as gluten intolerant and on a gluten free diet, that I would see some improvement in my skin. I had no idea that I had been gluten intolerant all my life since it didn't show up until the last year - and I'm now 76. I was milk allergic as a baby, but it appeared to have gone away - guess it was just hiding because I really ate whatever I liked until the last year when bread became the factor and everything just sort of slid downhill after that.

     

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    I've been on a gluten free diet for five years and using the best whole food supplements for 15 years. I STILL have eczema..I have to say it's a bit better, but I just can't figure out the ONE thing to make it go away. I did notice that removing potatoes, tomatoes and green peppers (I think these are the nightshade foods??) from my diet immediately turned around the inflamed eczema I had on my eyelid. 3-4 days after taking them entirely out to my diet....the eczema on my eye was completely gone. But what's on my elbows and scalp didn't go away. It is however not inflamed. I would sure love to heal my immune system...if that's what it takes, but not sure what else to do.

    Amy, try incorporating some apple cider vinegar with the "Mother". I have about 2 tbs in my smoothie daily and have noticed a difference in skin and works for inflammation.

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    It's a good start but as Brandon notes, it's a short term solution. I've been doing gluten-free for my psoriasis for a few years now, but have gradually started to include dairy, nightshades, caffeine (in all forms) in my no-eat list. It sucks in terms of fun eating, but the psoriasis is down but not gone like it was when I did this diet five years ago. I've read having hidden infections in your mouth as well as stress can also trigger skin outbreaks. I'm seeing the dentist Friday to check on that. Good luck everyone!

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    I've been on a gluten free diet for five years and using the best whole food supplements for 15 years. I STILL have eczema..I have to say it's a bit better, but I just can't figure out the ONE thing to make it go away. I did notice that removing potatoes, tomatoes and green peppers (I think these are the nightshade foods??) from my diet immediately turned around the inflamed eczema I had on my eyelid. 3-4 days after taking them entirely out to my diet....the eczema on my eye was completely gone. But what's on my elbows and scalp didn't go away. It is however not inflamed. I would sure love to heal my immune system...if that's what it takes, but not sure what else to do.

    Have you tried a candida free diet? It's hard -- you have to eliminate a lot more than even gluten from your diet -- and it could even take several months, but then once it is cleared, you may be able to gradually add it back into your diet.

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    My Aunt, diagnosed with celiac disease 11 years ago, used to suffer from Psoriasis until converting to a gluten free diet - and I, diagnosed with celiac 2 years ago, used to suffer from eczema. I believe there is a huge link between celiac and skin conditions, AND Endometriosis!

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    I believe the FDA is allowing companies to feed us more garbage. These filler/cheaters such as wheat gluten are making some of us sick. I fear a growing number will become ill as things become contaminated, polluted and made as cheaply as possible in an effort to increase profits. Food prices are increasing and following a gluten free diet is even more expensive, but I'm sick and I don't know where else to turn. The federal government needs to do their jobs and protect us instead of lining their pockets with special/personal interests.

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    My Aunt, diagnosed with celiac disease 11 years ago, used to suffer from Psoriasis until converting to a gluten free diet - and I, diagnosed with celiac 2 years ago, used to suffer from eczema. I believe there is a huge link between celiac and skin conditions, AND Endometriosis!

    I have eliminated wheat to try and treat my endometriosis, and may end up eliminating all gluten eventually. There is a great book by Dian Shepperson Mills if you are interested.

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    My daughter had terrible, terrible eczema for a long time. It seemed we tried EVERYTHING, including extreme elimination diets. None of it worked. And then, after coming across some literature, we tried probiotics and Borage Oil. She took one does of the probiotics and one capsule of Borage Oil (that I cut open and put into applesauce). There wasn't any change at first. At the 4 week mark, the eczema stopped getting worse. At 6 weeks, it was undeniably beginning to clear. By 8 weeks, it was GONE. All of it. And it hasn't come back (it's been a year now), and she has not had to do a repeat of the probiotics or the Borage Oil once that 8 weeks was up. I really hope this information can help someone else!

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  • About Me

    Kristen Campbell is a gluten-free, natural beauty expert. Diagnosed with severe gluten intolerance, she tests and tries, then recommends only the very best and purest gluten-free cosmetic products on her website www.NaturallyDahling.com. She is also the co-founder of www.GlutenFreeFox.com the world's first gluten-free search engine.

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