I hope anyone can help me...
From a young age I have been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis. My mostly effected body parts are my hands, inner elbow(?) and the back of my knees. I've been using cortisone creams (weak and very strong ones) for as long as I can remember. I've never seen severe or any effect of using any of these.. My dermatitis do go away sometimes (usually goes away when I go on holidays to tropical countries). I would say I've had dermatitis for maybe 70-80% of my life.
Two or three times I've had "flareups" on almost identical areas of my body. These flareups consist of dermatitis around my mouth (looks horrible and affects my self esteem a lot) and on my neck. I think the first time I had it was when I was 15 (it lasted for 1,5 years) then when I was 18 (lasted for 4-6 months) and I just got it again at age 21.
I got extremely upset because I knew it would last for some time due to the past incidents. I searched for hours online, and tried thinking of correlations between the earlier flareups. I found an article about dermatitis herpetiformis which caught my eye. Because I was desperate to see improvement of the dermatitis I went gluten free the same day. At this time I'd had the rash for 3 weeks without ANY improvement, and it was especially bad in the mornings (maybe due to lack of lubrication during nighttime). The next morning I woke up and the dermatitis around my mouth was almost COMPLETELY gone. I was in shock!! I couldn't believe it was some sort of coincidence, so I continued eating gluten free and haven't seen the dermatitis around the mouth since then. Haven't been eating gluten for 2 weeks besides one time by mistake (I got signs of the mouthrash only an hour after eating). I also wanna add that I do get the typical liqiud-filled blisters that are characterized with dermatitis herpetiformis; in my moutharea and hands.
Sadly I still have it on my hands, some on my neck and inner elbows, but I do feel it's less itching and irritated.
I hope people can help me with my questions.
1) Could it be that I have both atopic dermatitis and dermatitis herpetiformis? Has anyone ever heard of that? Or is it possible that the areas that are still affected will get better by time?
2) I've read the only way to diagnose this disease is by skin biopsy; does this mean I have to be eating gluten in order to get a positive result? I really don't want to go around with the rash in my face when I know I can avoid it by eating gluten free..
3) I couldn't find much about this online, but is it common to have other symptoms such as feeling tired and exhausted, migraine, anxiousness and depression etc... when having dermatitis herpetiformis?