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Jenniferxgfx

Making Gluten Bread For Others Is Probably Bad, Right?

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I'm 33 and I've had bad skin since I was 8. Technically I had eczema as a little kid, too, but it wasn't as traumatic as the bad acne. My parents weren't much help, so I was on my own. I noticed a link between my dairy intake and my skin but it never felt good or improved much. I've recently noticed my skin worsens after a gluten bender. (I'm gluten-free about 2 weeks now, no more gluten for me.)

However, today I made rolls out of gluten dough and to tonight I have 3 familiar spots on the palm of my hand. I'm pretty convinced it's DH because it itches like mad, but all my other spots are usually more like acne or folliculitis (or worse). I just always get these spots on the palm of my hands that itch crazylike, and lotion doesn't help, but it's such a tiny spot compared to my all over aches and pains, I just put it out of my head (or itch unconsciously). I feel like I've finally put a puzzle together.

Is it worth it to go to a dermatologist? Is there anything they can do anyway? I'm already gluten-free (although my household is not, but I won't be making the rolls any more), and I've been traumatized by doctors who didn't take me seriously or treat me kindly over the years. Plus my one dermatologist experience was pretty lousy. I'm comfortable avoiding doctors if I can help it. I'm allergic to sulfa, and I thought dapsone was a sulfa drug (is it?), so is there anything else they can do besides tell me to go gluten-free? I've read most doctors don't think you can have a reaction by touching wheat gluten, but I'm pretty sure I just did.

My ttg and biopsies were negative, but I admit I'd lightened up on the gluten for the 2 months before the biopsy. I'd like to just keep with the gluten-free diet and carry on, but these itchy post-kneading spots really spooked me and I'm not sure if there's anything I can or should do.

Making rolls was probably a bad idea, right? Is that a common reaction among DH folk?

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Jennifer: As with most things regarding DH, it's hard to tell for sure.

I don't seem to have an immediate reaction to wheat flour on my skin. On the otherhand last year when my work required me to be exposed to grain dust for several weeks my DH came back quite severely.

But your experience of getting itchy spots where you had contact with flour certainly suggests a link. And moist dough would be more likely to penetrate the skin barrier than dry dust or flour, especially when worked with your hands.

All your experiences seem to add up to gluten intolerance.

Best wishes.

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Don't you like that feeling of solving a health puzzle? I always feel more in control. I won't handle wheat at all unless I'm in a situation where I absolutely can't avoid it.

I'm not sure I'd bother with a doctor. Dapsone is a sulfa and that's all I know of for DH. I wonder if an over-the-counter benedryl or cortisol cream might help?

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Yes, when I handle food that has gluten, my palms itch terribly afterward. However, they generally don't actually break out. When I had DH (for many years), it was primarily on my face, neck, sole of one foot, and on one palm. My dermatologists all tried to convince me that I just had a very severe case of acne and treated it as such. As a result, it took years to get rid of the scarring that resulted from their poor advice.

If you notice that your DH (or "acne") gets worse with dairy, there's a possibility that the dairy in your area is high in iodine. I actually made the connection to dairy before I did to gluten. If you switch to organic dairy, that might help. I had to completely get off dairy and all iodine to make the DH lesions go away for good, but I've reintroduced organic dairy without any problem. So, it might help to eliminate iodized salt, foods that commonly have iodized salt on them (chips, french fries, etc.), dairy, seafood, and asparagus as well as gluten. Also, you should try to find gluten-free shampoos, toothpastes, makeup, etc. Lipstick definitely has gluten in it, so I just use Avon's Care Deeply lip balm (though you can find expensive gluten-free lipsticks online).

And, yes, all the literature and doctors will say that you can't get DH from touching gluten, but they are all WRONG! There have been no medical studies on this, and doctors simply parrot what they were taught or what they've read. However, if you follow this forum on a regular basis, you'll see that we commonly do react to touching gluten. I used to be able to touch gluten without any problems, but I've become so sensitive from being gluten-free, that's no longer the case.

Since you would not be able to take Dapsone, sticking with a gluten-free and iodine-free diet should do the trick. About seeing a dermatologist? Well, in my opinion, that would be a waste of money and time....but, then, I've never met a competent one (and I've seen at least a dozen).

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Thanks so much for these replies. They've really helped. I'm reading more about the iodine link, and I'm going to try eliminating it and see what happens. I've actually been dairy-free for a long time and am vegan for health and ethical reasons, so I'm comfortable with the way things are, but think I may be getting iodine in some of my non-dairy milks. That's an easy fix.

I had a visit with my GP yesterday and talked with her about these gluten changes and my gastroenterologist's results (negative biopsy recently, negative ttg two years ago) and she isn't concerned about completely eliminating gluten (like from my medications), just "minimizing" my exposure. sigh. she also was completely unconcerned about my dough incident, and obviously thought i was imagining things. i know i have to completely avoid gluten regardless of her opinions, i just wish i had some support. it's a shame since she was really a great doctor (and the best i'd ever had after many really bad ones), and she's closing her practice in september. oh well. i can make the gluten-free (and iodine-free!) transition on my own, and my permanent back issues can be managed by a trained monkey. but what a disappointment. i'm pretty well convinced a dermatologist is a waste of time after your comments and yesterday's appointment.

OTC hydrocortisone cream helps for a few minutes at a time, and it's something at least. it definitely helps a lot of my other skin issues, i've just read that long term topical steroids aren't good for the skin and don't work forever. hopefully things clear up before i have to worry too much. i'm optimistic at least, and that's something new :)

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