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Deacon's Garden

Skin Has Gotten Worse Since Going gluten-free

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I haven't been officially diagnosed. My symptoms all point to celiac disease. I've been gluten-free for almost 2 weeks now and 80% of my symptoms have disappeared: pain, bloating, C, D, fatigue, nausea. These are the ones I went to the doctor about and had been around for 6 weeks. However, since learning about celiac disease, I'm hopeful that my lifelong disabling eczema on my hands may be caused by the gluten (perhaps it is even DH? it has fluid-filled blisters that itch until I cause them to bleed). To my deep disappointment, my eczema has gotten twice as bad since going gluten-free. I can barely type, my hands are stiff, painful, cracked, blistered and useless.

Is there any hope that it is going to improve? Why would it get worse?

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I don't have DH but have suffered from eczema on my face and ears. I think it is starting to resolve now that I've gone with gluten-free health and beauty products. Several posters have recommended Vanicream for lotion, which is available at WalGreen's and CVS. It's pricy, but a little goes a long way.

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It could be a result of candida die off. If you've stopped eating a lot of starches/sugars the yeasties get hungry and that can flare up eczema - it gets worse before it gets better.

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The other question is, what are you eating more of in place of the gluten? Soy? Corn? Dairy? Your eczema could be related to a different food.

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I am not a big sugar eater, so I don't know if the die off would make sense. How long does it take to die off?

I am eating a lot more vegetables and rice. No soy. No dairy. I was researching salicylates because I know that there is something topical that sets off my eczema, I just haven't pinpointed it yet. If I try to cut them out, too, there will be nothing to eat except celery!

My hands have gotten worse since I wrote initially. This is really scary. I am typing with my fingernails because it hurts so much to touch my fingers to the keys!

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DH can be very slow to respond and can get worse or even break out in new places even when your gluten consumption is way down. Don't give up hope too soon.

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I did some more research and I definitely have pompholyx eczema. I looked up causes and treatments and just learned more about this condition than I have from any of the multiple dermatologists that I've seen in the past 25 years for this condition. How exasperating! No one has ever suggested an allergy!! Sweating was noted as a cause - and I wore nitrile gloves all day the day before this worsened in order to limit my exposure to the contact allergens. At the end of the day the cracking had improved, but then the blisters, itching and swelling erupted. I noted that several sources cited celiac disease and/or some other form of digestive disorders as associated with this type of eczema. I am hopeful that staying off gluten and continuing to purse other possible contact dermatitis issues will help resolve this disabling problem.

However, I am still stumped as to why it is getting worse. I looked up the symptoms of candidiasis die off and I don't have any, except the worsening of my skin.

I am so grateful for this incredibly knowledgeable community that keeps me thinking and investigating.

Blessings to you all!

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As I mentioned, DH seems to have some 'momentum'.

In my case some areas of my skin broke out after my gluten intake was reduced to about zero. These were new areas not previously affected, and were getting worse even as other areas were healing. Now, months later these new areas are finally healing.

I don't have an explanation, but I assume there is some process underway that needs to work its way to a conclusion before it starts to improve. Perhaps this is what's going on. Or perhaps not.

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I believe I have phomoxyl eczema also. Mine is a very small spot that erupts in water filled blisters...extremely itchy/painful then they erupt (unless I can keep from scratching them), they scab over the skin then cracks...gets painful then peels off and then it swells...then it starts all over again.

I am 3 weeks gluten-free and while it hasn't made the eczema go away it seems to have slowed each stage...and diminished the pain/itching. I am just past the scanning over stage now, and I am very hopeful that it's going so slow right now that maybe it's healing!

Maybe yours is slowing down that's why it seems worse? Also I try to keep mine dry all day.

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I hope you are right, Metoo. Of all my symptoms, this would be the one that I would like to get rid of the most. It is so debilitating.

I'm going to try to remain hopeful.

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I believe I have phomoxyl eczema also. Mine is a very small spot that erupts in water filled blisters...extremely itchy/painful then they erupt (unless I can keep from scratching them), they scab over the skin then cracks...gets painful then peels off and then it swells...then it starts all over again.

I am 3 weeks gluten-free and while it hasn't made the eczema go away it seems to have slowed each stage...and diminished the pain/itching. I am just past the scanning over stage now, and I am very hopeful that it's going so slow right now that maybe it's healing!

Maybe yours is slowing down that's why it seems worse? Also I try to keep mine dry all day.

Is it better to keep those patches dry? (I've been moisturizing them.)

As to the OP, I don't know why things seem to get worse before they get better. I feel like our autoimmune system kicks things up a notch because it's all riled up that we eliminated the beast it was fighting. What's stange for me is I haven't had a cold or the flu in over two years, and I used to get one every six months. But I've had to deal with a handful of food intolerances that were new to me, and downright dehabilitating.

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As I mentioned, DH seems to have some 'momentum'.

In my case some areas of my skin broke out after my gluten intake was reduced to about zero. These were new areas not previously affected, and were getting worse even as other areas were healing. Now, months later these new areas are finally healing.

I don't have an explanation, but I assume there is some process underway that needs to work its way to a conclusion before it starts to improve. Perhaps this is what's going on. Or perhaps not.

My experience was identical to yours itchy. Started at the ankles the first day of my last day working at a bakery. By the end of the six hours I had some from knees to torso. Over the next few weeks my upper arms and butt became insanely itchy and densely covered. My lower arms, then hands (all over) were the last to come. It was a bit scary this stage.

My ankles healed first, knees second, butt & torso are on the mend, upper arms sting/itch but not nearly so bad now and my wrists and hands are still my "gluten/iodine sensors".

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Deacon's Garden,

I've had to be super-dooper strict the past 2-3 months gluten free and finally seeing some healing happening on my wrists and hands. If your hands are gluten related it might take yours a while too.

BTW I hadn't had any ezcema etc prior to my last day at the bakery and my wrist/hands look much like this:

http://dermatlas.med.jhmi.edu/derm/indexDisplay.cfm?ImageID=-1310488513

as opposed to this pompholyx photo:

http://dermatlas.med.jhmi.edu/derm/indexDisplay.cfm?ImageID=-1699320881

There is no way that I would be able to let my bumps etc get as "bubbly" as in the pompholyx ezcema photo. I look at them in that photo and my head screams at me to scratch.

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I wanted to reply to your hand eczema. About two years ago, I began getting intense itch/burning, then would break out in clear blisters sometime red spots on my hands and feet. Before this I began noticing my hands were SO dry and cracking. I would soak them in water with a cup of apple cider vinegar everyday for 30 minutes and this would make them go a way faster. EVERY cream I tried, I would react to! I tried them all.Recently I began using Shikai Borage Dry Skin Lotion and cannot believe I have no stinging or reaction! Read the reviews on Amazon. It is also fairly priced. My hands after a week are so much smoother.

Hope this helps.

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