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celiacinrecovery

bumps on head - possibly a form of folliculitis?

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I've had my DH under control for a few months, after committing to a strict diet that includes no pre-packaged foods (even if they're certified gluten free). According to a scope, my villi look healthy. I'm feeling much better, and seem to be recovering, with a focus on eating well, getting back to exercising regularly, and getting healthy probiotics (supplements and homemade fermented foods).

The major issue I have now is recurring bumps on my scalp. These develop in places where I have hair (so not on my face). Sometimes they'll I'll have an inflamed hair follicle, suggesting folliculitis, but sometimes there's just little bumps. They can get a little sore, and are a nuisance when I go to shave my head (I have male pattern baldness and use the #1 clipper setting, rather than shaving to the skin).

A few observations:

  • It gets worse if I wear hats ... presumably the friction irritates the skin and causes them
  • For some reason if I let my hair grow a little longer it gets worse.
  • Washing my scalp in the morning and before bed helps keep it in check - I'm much more likely to get it if I don't  do this - but doesn't stop it completely.

I change my pillowcase each day, and avoid wearing hats whenever possible.

I'm trying to get a better understanding of what this may be, and whether it is related to my celiac. I do theorize that it is related, possibly due to the weakened immune system or gut flora.

Any insight would be appreciated. I've spoken to doctors about this in the past and didn't get much of anywhere. I started talking to them pre-celiac diagnosis, and then we put the focus on my DH. Now that that has been addressed I'd like to sort this one out.

 

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It sounds like this is a new development, as is dealing with your DH. I too wonder if it is related, and if it's possible that you might be getting small amounts of gluten in your diet, and that it could actually be DH. To me it seems strange that you would suddenly get folliculitis at around the same time that you are dealing with DH, but I'm sure that stranger coincidences have happened.

The big difference between the two seems to be that folliculitis would always be associated with a hair follicle. Perhaps you could have someone examine the blisters to see if this is the case, and to try to notice if they look more like DH blisters (usually tiny with clear heads). It also seems like DH would be more itchy than folliculitis, but I could be wrong about that.


Scott Adams

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

Founder Celiac.com

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1 hour ago, Scott Adams said:

It sounds like this is a new development, as is dealing with your DH. I too wonder if it is related, and if it's possible that you might be getting small amounts of gluten in your diet, and that it could actually be DH. To me it seems strange that you would suddenly get folliculitis at around the same time that you are dealing with DH, but I'm sure that stranger coincidences have happened.

The big difference between the two seems to be that folliculitis would always be associated with a hair follicle. Perhaps you could have someone examine the blisters to see if this is the case, and to try to notice if they look more like DH blisters (usually tiny with clear heads). It also seems like DH would be more itchy than folliculitis, but I could be wrong about that.

Hi Scott, thanks for the reply. Just to clarify, I think I might have worded things a bit poorly in my original post. The bumps on my head that I'm discussing have been an issue for many years -- they definitely predate resolving the DH. For a while I thought resolving the DH might resolve this, but that clearly isn't the case. So what I was trying to say is that I went to the doctors and had both these bumps on my head, and the DH. The doctors didn't know what either was, and we tried to treat them but ended up resolving the DH first. Now I have these odd bumps the reoccur, and I'm hoping to fix that problem now.

I'd love to have a dermatologist look at these, but where I live it takes a year to get an appointment, and I haven't gotten much help out of that.

 

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Thanks for the additional info on the timeline. It does still sounds like it is possible that the bumps on your head could be DH, but only a visit to a dermatologist could tell for sure, and if you are 100% gluten-free those should go away as well. I would just be sure that my diet is 100% GF, and if the bumps on your head don't go away after a couple of months it's probably safe to assume that they might be folliculitis or something else that a dermatologist would need to diagnose.

Let us know what you find out.


Scott Adams

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

Founder Celiac.com

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