What is Dermatitis Herpetiformis?

Dermatitis Herpetiformis, otherwise known as Duhring’s disease, is a chronic autoimmune blistering dermatological condition characterized by clustered excoriations, urticaria and vesicles located on the elbows, knees, back and buttocks. As the name suggests, the inflammation is similar to herpes, but it is not related to herpes virus. It was Dr. Louis Duhring who originally described the disease in the year 1884 at the University of Pennsylvania.

The papulovesicular eruptions are intensely itchy and chronic distributed symmetrically on extensor surfaces. This condition also involves the appearance of a rash. The rash results when gluten joins with IgA, both enter the bloodstream and circulates in the system and finally, gluten and IgA clog up the small blood vessels in the skin. This will draw neutrophils and release chemicals which really produce the rash. At first, the person will notice a slight pigmentation at the site where the lesions come out. Then later it will become vesicles that occur in groups.

Dermatitis herpetiformis responds well to Dapsone. For most patients, this drug is an effective treatment that will improve the disease in just a few days. It responds so quickly that itching is significantly reduced in two to three days. However, when the damage has reached the gastrointestinal tract, this pharmacological treatment has no effect.

To help control the disease, a strict gluten-free diet should be observed as lifetime management. This modification can radically decrease related intestinal damage and other complications.



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Dermatitis Herpetiformis Pictures

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