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BrownEyedGirl

Allergic Dermatitis Vs. Dh

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Are there similarities in appearance with Allergic Dermatitis and DH? I was diagnosed with AD this week, but I'm curious if it could be DH.

Background info: I don't have celiac, but I have allergies/intolerances to casein and wheat. I've gotten hives on-and-off for about four years now. I did extensive allergy testing, and those two things turned out to be the cause. I didn't have to completely eliminate them from my diet at that point. If I went without for a while, I could eat small amounts for quite some time before the hives would start up again. This week, I broke out with a really bad rash on my thigh. The whole area is red, inflamed and itchy, with bumps all over. Then, I started getting bumps in other places .... arms, stomach, back, legs. Some of the bumps are very small, others are large, cyst-like and look like they may be fluid-filled.

It got so bad that I ended up going to the ER, and they said I have allergic dermatitis. I'm taking a prescription allergy medicine and steroid, but it only helps me so much. When I take the steroid at night, there is improvement when I wake up, but I've noticed 10-20 minutes after eating, it'll start getting really itchy again and more bumps will pop up. This has led me to believe it's my food allergies bothering me once again, so I'm going try eating casein and gluten-free to see if that will help me any. According to the sheet they gave me about Allergic Dermatitis, it's caused by coming in contact with something external you're reacting to, so that wouldn't make sense that it flares up after eating.

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Are there similarities in appearance with Allergic Dermatitis and DH? I was diagnosed with AD this week, but I'm curious if it could be DH.

Background info: I don't have celiac, but I have allergies/intolerances to casein and wheat. I've gotten hives on-and-off for about four years now. I did extensive allergy testing, and those two things turned out to be the cause. I didn't have to completely eliminate them from my diet at that point. If I went without for a while, I could eat small amounts for quite some time before the hives would start up again. This week, I broke out with a really bad rash on my thigh. The whole area is red, inflamed and itchy, with bumps all over. Then, I started getting bumps in other places .... arms, stomach, back, legs. Some of the bumps are very small, others are large, cyst-like and look like they may be fluid-filled.

It got so bad that I ended up going to the ER, and they said I have allergic dermatitis. I'm taking a prescription allergy medicine and steroid, but it only helps me so much. When I take the steroid at night, there is improvement when I wake up, but I've noticed 10-20 minutes after eating, it'll start getting really itchy again and more bumps will pop up. This has led me to believe it's my food allergies bothering me once again, so I'm going try eating casein and gluten-free to see if that will help me any. According to the sheet they gave me about Allergic Dermatitis, it's caused by coming in contact with something external you're reacting to, so that wouldn't make sense that it flares up after eating.

i think i have this, too!

i look forward to hearing others' responses. how did you become diagnosed with this? my hives are so bad at the moment, i'm literally itching out of my skin.

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i think i have this, too!

i look forward to hearing others' responses. how did you become diagnosed with this? my hives are so bad at the moment, i'm literally itching out of my skin.

I went to the ER, and they said it was a classic case of allergic dermatitis. I ended up going back last night. After four days, the steroids didn't work at all and it was getting worse, some of the rashes were also turning purple. The doctor said I was taking very low dose steroids for the severity of my symptoms, and gave me a prescription for the same drug, but a much higher dose. I told him about my previous food allergy problems and how it flares up after I eat. He said that since I've had problems with breaking out in hives from wheat and milk that I need to go on a gluten-free/CF diet, keep a food diary of everything I eat and my reactions, continue with the steroids, and if it doesn't clear up in the next week, he gave me a referral to a dermatologist.

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Hey, Becky,

We have been troubleshooting hand eczema/dermatitis in our gluten sensitive child. Her hands get itchy, swollen and red. It is terrible. Her symptoms are specific to school and gluten. We were recently at the dermatologist trying to get help. We have done topical steroids off and on trying to manage it. In a strictly gluten free environment and on our gluten/dairy free diet, she does not have the symptoms. However, *very* low doses of gluten will keep her hands aggravated, especially when she is getting substantial environmental exposures at school. It has been so frustrating trying to keep her hands well. The "allergy" side of wheat/gluten can be so very, very hard to manage.

I hope that your rash clears up quickly and nicely. The itch you describe is so characteristic of my daughter's reaction, and I was hopeful that getting a skin biopsy may help us get a "celiac" diagnosis. The dermatologist responded when I asked that the rash would most likely test negative, as the DH characteristic "blistering" was not present. She also said that it is very, very difficult to get a positive biopsy and diagnosis for these wheat/gluten conditions. For my daughter, her allergic reactions will most likely keep her from consuming enough gluten to do the required "diagnostic" damage needed for a celiac diagnosis. Additionally, she is much more reactive to environmental exposures than our more "classical" celiac child.

Good luck with the diet changes - it has made a world of difference for us and our skin and allergy issues!

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i just got back from the dermatologist who told me it was chronic hives. WTH! i explained my digestive issues, allergy issues, everything. i feel like there is no hope. i didn't have any gluten yesterday and had a horrid flare-up this morning. by the time i got to the doc the welts were little, red bumps and he said that's not what DH looks like. I dunno.

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Update:

I ended up going to the ER last night. After four days of allergy meds and steroids, it had gotten a lot worse and the itching was pretty unbearable. Some of the rashes had become purplish. The doctor I saw said that the steroids I had been given were very low doses, and he was shocked at that given the severity. He gave me a prescription for the same drug, but a much higher dose. He asked me to go into detail about my symptoms and when they occur, my previous food allergy problems. He said it's clear it's allergic dermatitis brought on by food allergies, and since I've had a history of problems with wheat and milk, that I should start there. I'm started on a gluten-free/CF diet today ... before i had a flare-up everytime I ate, but I didn't have any today. I didn't need my anti-itching medicine until about 7pm, which is really good. I've been taking it 4+ times a day. And even when the itching returned, it was more like an irritation itch, than the swelling I would encounter after eating. The rash has gone down some and the blisters aren't as red. The rashes on my thighs kind of itch right now though. That's where the purple is though, so hopefully it just means it's healing.

Anyway, I'm supposed to continue with the gluten-free/CF diet (need to clean out the pantry and go grocery shopping!), do a 5-day steroid pack, keep a food diary and see a dermatologist.

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