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DH flare up

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My husband was diagnosed with celiac a little over a year ago. Since diagnosis, he has maintained a strict gluten free diet & his symptoms have greatly improved. One symptom he never experienced prior to diagnosis is DH. 

Two weeks ago, he gave in and cheated on his GF diet for the first time since diagnosis and ate one cookie. For two days his stomach was a mess. A few days later, he developed DH for the first time on his hands, feet, elbows and knees. He has not had any other gluten since then. His primary care doctor prescribed a steroid for him and told him to take Benadryl, which he's done for several days with no relief. 

My question is this, should he be doing anything else? How long could this rash last? He's miserable. Thanks for your help!! 

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I am sorry that your husband has DH.  I do not have DH, but I understand that it is awful!  What I do know is that the antibodies located in the skin take much longer to decrease than a celiac who does not have DH and that even  the tiniest gluten exposure can bring on the itchy, burning and unrelenting rash.   There seems to be no rhyme or reason for flare-ups even long after a gluten exposure. 

Try browsing  through our DH section for tips on relief.   

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I've heard of this happening numerous times on this board. Okay, even if the steroid was working, steroids have a habit of giving you a hell of a lash back once you quit them. A strong prescription strength topical steroid can help some and it won't give the lash back.

Take him low iodine for a week or two. Iodine exacerbates the rash. Here's a guide (minus the gluten of course!):

http://www.thyca.org/download/document/229/Cookbook1pgEng.pdf at


Then read this thread:


Also NSAID's make the rash flare so avoid those. If he has to take anything at all then Tylenol is okay but none of the NSAID's.

As to how long it's going to last, no one can say.

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2 hours ago, Kdub said:

Hey there am undergoing this right now. Did your husband do anything else to alleviate the symptoms? How long did the flare up last? Thanks

Try going through the DH section of the forum.  Read Squirmingitch’s about coping tips for flare ups.  Read the link she gave on this thread.    I can only add that you must be super strict with your diet. 

Applying ice compresses can help with the itching.  

Do you have celiac disease?  Are you sure you are dealing with DH?  So many rashes are so similar in appearance.  

I hope you feel better soon.  

Edited by cyclinglady

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