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amylopan

My 2-year-old Celiac Just Developed Dh

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My son is 2 and was diagnosed with celiac a year ago. He's never had symptoms of DH, so I counted him lucky. Three days ago, there it is. He had a gluten accident with one of his baby sister's teething biscuits and that night, a blistery rash developed on both knees. The next morning, it was on both elbows and now it's on the top of his feet and his outer ears.

My poor little guy is itching like crazy! We feel terrible and have decided to make the entire household 100% gluten-free. We threw out everything in the house that has touched gluten, lol, my husband even wanted to throw away our couch! :rolleyes:

Does anyone else have an itchy toddler? We're using a very mild hydrocortisone cream at night to relieve the itching so he can sleep. Obviously, we don't want to put him on medication with serious side effects. I just don't know what else to do for the little guy other than put him in a bubble. :(

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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You may want to discuss Dapsone with your doctor.

http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.ed...A03-WhatAre.htm

"What is dermatitis herpetiformis?

Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is the skin manifestation of celiac disease. All patients with DH have celiac disease. It is an intensely itchy rash that usually occurs in the same place for each patient. This may be on the hands or fingers, forearms, buttocks or scalp or anywhere on the body. The rash typically consists of very itchy, small red dots that may develop into blisters or pimples. They are intensely itchy.

The diagnosis is clinical and can be confirmed by biopsy. The biopsy, for best results, needs to be taken from just adjacent to a lesion. The biopsy needs to have special immunofluorescence tests performed on it.

Treatment is first and foremost a gluten-free diet. This results in resolution of the lesions and will prevent new lesions. The diet also will prevent the development of lymphoma, that occurs at an increased rate as in patients with celiac disease. Drugs (Dapsone) may help patients recover from a severe episode, but are not a substitute for the diet. Patients with DH are very sensitive to small amounts of gluten."

and http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.ed...nts/A02-FAQ.htm

"Q: What is dermatitis herpetiformis?

DH is the skin manifestation of celiac disease. It is characterized by an extremely itchy, watery blister or rash that is found on the limbs, trunk, face and scalp. The blisters are often mirrored on both sides of the body or face and reoccur in the same areas. The eruptions are often mistaken for and treated as other skin conditions including psoriasis, infected mosquito bites, contact dermatitis, allergies or "non-specific dermatitis."

DH is a chronic, permanent condition and, if not treated with a gluten-free diet, may cause gastrointestinal symptoms at a later date whether or not the intestines shows damage initially. Less than 10% of patients with DH have GI symptoms, yet if you have DH, you always have celiac disease.

DH is diagnosed by a small skin biopsy at the edge of an eruption. This must be done by a knowledgeable dermatologist as a sampling of tissue from the wrong section of the eruption can be confused with other skin conditions.

The current treatment of DH is two-fold:

1- A strict adherence to a gluten-free diet.

2- The use of medications to relieve the itching and burning of the blisters.

Dapsone is the usual drug of choice. Baseline blood tests should be performed prior to treatment with Dapsone and blood work should be done at regular intervals thereafter. Medications should be taken in the smallest effective doses for as short a time as possible and monitored by a physician.All of the ingested drugs have numerous potential side effects, some extremely severe.

Topical creams containing cortisone and steroids are also prescribed to alleviate symptoms. None of these drugs eliminate the cause of the eruptions or the IgA deposits within the skin, they simply suppress the symptoms. "

Best of luck and I hope the itchiness goes away quickly.

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I have an itchy almost three year old. I have not been able to get the official medical proof of Celiac or DH. But is responds to the gluten-free/CF diet, so she is a Celiac. She may have additional allergies too, so we are trying to get to an allergist to rule those out before more Gastro work. She gets a terrible itchy rash on her legs and feet. It doesn't sound like the typical DH, but she gets the rash when she has had gluten, dairy or possibly eggs, and the rash goes away when she is gluten-free/CF again. The itchies wake her up at night. It sounds like she is ripping through layers of skin. Nothing stops the itch. But, I use the Benadryl itch creams and gels to get her some relief when it is really bad. I don't think the gel is an option for the oozing blisters of DH.

Wish I could offer you better info. The only thing that has helped us is telling her she has allergies (we have other food allergies in the house so this statement works for us) and when she can't eat something we tell her it will hurt her tummy. After only 5 mths on the gluten-free/CF diet, she knows to ask if a new food is ok for her and she knows that Mommy has her special allergy food. That has helped with the grabbing and eating of any and all foods.

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