Skin rash, doctors and gluten | Allergy

Skin rash, doctors and gluten

by Allergy Guy

I just received the following comment, posted under the Self-Testing for Food Allergies page.

I decided to provide the reply as a separate article, rather than burying it in the comments, because there are a few important points here that I think you will find useful, and I want to make sure you can easily find this article.

Wow! I have been dealing with this since Nov of 2008 and have been to the doc twice. It just don’t seem to go away just very little. The Doc put me on some steriod cream which easied it a little then he put me on Aluminum latate cream which really burns bad but helps the nasty rash ease a little. I have it on my hands and clear up to my elbows but no where else. I notice I itch after anything with flour. As my mother has this gluten allergy the Doc says this isn’t that. I have scedualed a appointment with a dermatoligist and hope to get to the root of this. It drives me nuts. I have patches that are red and very tiny blisters that bust and ooze. I put these creams on and it clears up the irritated spots and new blisters come out around the edge. I will let you know if this is what I have after I get to this dermatoligist. Thanks this did help a little!

Here is my reply:

Thanks for your comment, Suzy.

I hope the dermatologist is able to help you.

It seems to me that dermatologists more often treat the symptoms (e.g. prescription for steroid creams) than get to the root causes (allergy? Other environmental factors? Nutrient deficiencies?)

If your mom has a gluten allergy, and you itch after eating anything with flour, that is a big CLUE.

Go ahead and see the dermatologist, but also try cutting out all wheat. See what happens. If eliminating wheat and gluten from your diet solves the problem, the it doesn’t matter what your doctor says, you’ve found your own answer.

Doctors provide an opinion – sometimes little better than educated guess. Nothing wrong with that, sometimes its the best they can do.

The point is that you can make your own educated guess, and your guess may turn out to be right.

Some doctors like to be right and feel threatened by suggested causes by their patients. If your doctor is that type of person, you definitely do not want him to throw you off your own hunch, which just might be right.

Now you don’t want to come up with your own medical cures – prescribing yourself medication or performing medical procedures on yourself! This is the domain of doctors, and when medications or surgery is the best answer, you want to leave it up to them.

Changing your diet is entirely different.

There is nothing harmful about eliminating wheat from your diet. On the contrary, it forces you to eat better by eliminating a lot of crappy, unhealthy food from your diet, and forcing you to rethink what you eat.

This is not easy. The results though can be spectacular.

Firstly, if you have a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance, eliminating this poison from your system will have a hugely positive effect on your life and your health.

It may take some time to clear out of your system. You may not notice any improvement for days or weeks. But the improvements will be huge when they come – if you are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease.

Heating healthy food (if your diet is not currently all that healthy) will also have an effect on your life. This could be subtle, or it could be huge – depending on your current diet, and what you choose to eat instead.

So there is no risk to eliminating wheat and gluten from your diet. Although challenging, you may find this produces a dramatic change in your health and energy levels.

Try it and see what happens!

Feel free to leave your comments. Share your gluten-free and improved diet experiences with others who need the inspiration and encouragement!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Monica June 6, 2013 at 16:55

After eating ANYTHING breaded, too sweet or that contains dairy I breakout all on my face & neck. I get so hot in the face that I’ll sweat easier, itch & the texture gets rashly/bumpy. My throat would even be sore all year long off & on. I’ve suffered this way since I was a child & just recently pin pointed it (I’m 31). I went to a dermatologist who basically told me it was in my head since I wasn’t currently experiencing a breakout. So I never thought it could be an allergy since I’d already seen a Dr about it. I’ve also discovered I must have suffered from celiac disease aswell since after cutting dairy, gluten & corn syrup strictly from my diet I no longer experience the bloating, soreness of lower stomach, & chronic constipation I dealt with my whole life! I’m so excited but yet I miss my sweets. I’m finally over the worst of the cravings though. And many other problems have resolved themself with my new diet aswell. My hair is growing back, my mood is the best I can ever remember, I’m not as hungry as often and I’ve lost all my baby weight from my 2 year old! 🙂


2 Sandra Collins December 3, 2011 at 22:51

Wonder if there is any problems with GMOs and allergies or illness?
I have to use organic butter or my throat breaks out.Organic milk or my nose and throat get all congested.I just wonder.


3 Allergy Guy December 6, 2011 at 13:33

I wonder the same thing.

Organic is of course free of pesticides (assuming it really is organic of course) so your reaction could be to pesticides or it could be because the food is GMO.


4 salwa September 13, 2011 at 02:51

i had rash on my heps and back and anus itching for years and stomic problem these itcing wake up from my sleep but since i stopped gluten no itching at all – even my stomic i used medication like betazol for years and i stoped after guletn free diet.
these days the itching is back beacuse i start eating white bread


5 Patch October 3, 2010 at 15:24

Skin Burns under my gold ring, rash like skin issues, IBS, acid reflux, ankles swelling when drinking beer, panic attacks, sleepy after meals – problems sleeping at nigh – -this was some of the health issues I had for about 20 years ( Noticed them anyway) –

I did the Atkins diet for about 3 months ( Lost 40 lbs) but the biggest thing was all the issues above all went away.. I did notice this till I introduced carbs back into my diet…Silly me couldn’t figure it out so I googled ” Carb Allergies” thinking I was allergic to “Carbs” – It took a few days before everything started to point to Wheat and then gluten… I pulled all wheat out of my diet and about 3 weeks later they all went away again.. I used my finger as the benchmark.. I ate wheat and then the ring fingure developed a “Ring Burn” in a day or so after eating gluten…I stopped and it went away…I ate again and the burn came back along with acid reflux and the skin issue… IBS and poor BM’s started again…

I didn’t need a PHD to figure this one out, I have a gluten intolerance and that is a fact… They are some saying that it is 1 in 3 people suffer but do not yet know..

2 things IMHO are preventing the Medical Community from declaring war on gluten and the incredible cost to the health care system is causes –

1) Pharma’ companies will loose billions in drug that “Treat The Symptoms” not the problem and;

2) What would happen if all of a sudden it was known that Wheat was bad for 50% of the population??

I’ll let you draw the conclusion..


6 Stephanie August 18, 2010 at 12:00

I’ve been trying for years to find out what is happening in my body and the doctor has been no help. They would rather treat the symptons then figure out what the cause is. Its been a 10 year
struggle. First it started with a irritable bowel and most recently a rash on my shin that comes and goes and is very itchy. My face has a rash on certain parts and nothing the doctor gives me clears it up. Its
like little water filled pimples that keep reappearing. I never have a normal BM….its always very loose. I have alot of gas inside and my stools have alot of mucus. My Aunt is severly Celiac so it may run in the family. Can you help?


7 Allergy Guy August 19, 2010 at 09:30

Hi Stephanie,

I can’t replace a doctor, but I can give you a few ideas.

First, find better doctors!

Secondly, try an elimination diet. You’ll want to be especially focused on gluten and dairy, but also other common food allergens.

Thirdly, get tested for celiac. Find a doctor who specializes in celiac disease. Even if you don’t have it, a doctor who understands celiac may be able to point you in the right direction.

Hope that helps.


8 Stephanie December 6, 2011 at 13:42

I did have a blood test for Celiac but it was negative….can
you still have a gluten allergy or intolerabce and test negative for Celiac?


9 Allergy Guy December 6, 2011 at 14:26

Yes you can. Celiac is not an allergy.

Also, many tests are not 100% accurate.

If you feel better without gluten in your diet, then stay gluten-free.


10 Max February 11, 2010 at 14:46

Rash on neck and chest

Hi there, I have not been diagnosed as a Celiac sufferer, but I’m pretty sure that I have a gluten sensitivity as I feel bloated and have diarrhea almost always the day after I eat a piece of pizza or drink a beer or two. My question is in regards to a rash that I have on my neck and slightly on my chest…they are slightly raised, discolored marks in round shapes. It itches but not always, and it is usually pretty mild. The rash has spread slightly, as it started on my neck and has spread a little to my chest area. A few years back, a dermatologist suggested that I have tenia versicolor and that it was caused by an excess amount of yeast in my blood. I tried all the selenium products to no avail and believe that it is related to my gluten sensitivity. I don’t have insurance so I haven’t been to the doctor in a while…Would you be able to confirm (based on the info I’ve provided) that my rash may be related to gluten? If so, is there anything to do besides not eating any gluten for a month or going to the doctor to find out? Thanks for any advice/info you can provide.



11 admin February 11, 2010 at 16:10

Rash and gluten

Hi Max,

I’m not a doctor, and diagnosing a rash from a text description would be difficult in any case.

If you think you have a gluten sensitivity, you really must try cutting out all gluten from your diet and see if that helps.

The problem with different types of gluten sensitivities is that while certain obvious symptoms, such as a slight rash, may be obvious, other long-term health issues could be smoldering away inside.

A proper test for celiac disease is preferable. If that causes a financial challenge, the next best thing is to eliminate all gluten from your diet and see if that helps.


12 Sirena December 8, 2009 at 17:21

Little blisters… (for Kate)


Have you been checked for Celiac Disease, because what you are suffering sort of sounds like it could be Dermatitis Herpetiformis, the “Gluten Rash”.

It’s NOT related to Herpes, although the name sounds like it. Number one characteristic is little water filled itchy blisters on skin.

Avoiding gluten (wheat, rye, barley, malt, oats) should do the trick.

I’m not a doctor, but I have gluten intolerance. Also, if your mom has Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, you’re more likely to have it.

You should have a test taken to see if you have gluten intolerance or Celiac. 1 in 33 poeple have it and most doctors don’t check for it.

Good luck.


13 Kelsey August 18, 2009 at 15:30

To Kate – finger swelling

My fingers have always been dispropportionately chubby to my weight, but when I cut out Aspartame in January my ring size went from an 8.25 to 6.25 in less than a week! It was SUCH a drastic difference I couldn’t believe it. I used to have tingling and some pain in my hands, but haven’t had any since I cut out aspartame. I’ve also heard that an aspartame allergy can cause bad migraines and joint pain. Not with me, but an old boss of mine.

Gluten causes me to feel irritated within an hour (very angry, impulsive, crazy…), and then for about 12 hours or longer depending on how much I ate I am painfully bloated, full, and very low energy.

Soy makes me bloated for up to 3 days. The gluten and soy intolerances have only popped up after pregnancy/breastfeeding.

Lots of other allergies can cause these same symptoms so all I can suggest is come up with a list of things you eat or drink a lot and try cutting out the common ingredient (one at a time is very important) and see if anything helps. Make sure your nutrition doesn’t suffer though. I hope you’re feeling better than you did in April.


14 Kate April 17, 2009 at 15:03

mini blisters on hands

I woke up really mad (which is uncharacteristic of me)…Later that day, I noticed my hands hurt and I felt super bloated, incredibly tired and still very cranky. I noticed tiny bumps on my fingers. I had no idea what they were and actually thought maybe it was a couple warts. I spent $50 on wart creams and then after 2 seconds, couldn’t bear the pain of burning them off. I went to the dermotologist the next day- and was simply a mess. I couldn’t stop the tears. Overnight there were 40+ tiny blisters on the sides of my fingers. They took a biopsy and nothing. These blisters never went away entirely, but seemed to come/go. Over the last 18 months, I have seen 3 dermotologists and my regular doctor many times. They said it could be something I am eating, drinking, touching, etc…Pretty vague and still no answers. Some people seem to think it’s a food allergy, but I haven’t been able to determine a pattern. I was feeling much better for a while, then suddenly there they are…and I am instantly depressed/defeated. There’s more to it, but that’s the gist. Any ideas? I was thinking white bread, sugar, maybe pork. I really have no idea. Oh yeah, and besides feeling bloated (to the point of feeling ackward/off balance in my own skin), I have had migraines on occasion, utter exhaustion (eyeballing under my desk for a nap space), joint pain (especially in and around my elbows), some stomach issues and finally, my rings still don’t fit- even on my good days.


15 admin April 18, 2009 at 21:54

Sounds nasty

Sounds like you are having a tough time there, Kate.

There is no real way of correlating a specific set of symptoms to a specific allergy. You certainly could be reacting to food or something you are touching.

One line of investigation: has anything changed in your life around the time you first got the blisters? Are you exposed to new things, eating anything different?

We often develop allergies to things we are exposed to a lot, rather than new things, so the above line of inquiry may lead no where.

Another line of investigation is to eliminate possible problems for a good long time and see if it helps.

See Self-Testing for Food Allergies and Top 20 Food Allergies with Delayed Reactions. Use the self-testing method for other possible causes such as contact with soap, types of fabric etc.

Do not assume you have allergies. There could be other reasons, although apparently your doctors can’t find any. Still, worth looking into.

Also, read the article I just wrote about mango allergy, just in case …


16 Dee January 19, 2016 at 07:24

Had rash for about a year and someone told me to stop using anything either Aspertain. Within 3 months my rash and blisters are all gone. Good luck


17 Alisa June 5, 2009 at 20:39

Delayed Food Alergies/Food Sensitivities

Hi Kate,
I have had the same reccuring rash for 13 years. (The first occurances were 1-2 months, ever other year, the last were 6-8 month every year.) I had a slew of other symptoms as well, including many stomach problems, irritable bowel, fatigue, joint pain, loss of concentration, and bad moods. After years of topical treatments for the rash, one Urgent Care doctor recommented a naturalpathic doctor. Through her, I took a delayed food sensitivity test called ELISA/ACT. Where regular alergists perform IgE tests, this is an IgG test. (Check out for symtpms test. I believe ALCAT is another IgG food sensitivity test plus other chemicals like the other replyer had.)

I tested positive for specific foods, including wheat, milk, eggs, garlic and sugar. The explaination that I came to understand is that my body does not recognize these foods as healthy, so during the digestion cycle, the foods are protected (inaccurately) and therefore not digested properly. (Hence the digestion problems). Even more, once they reach the end of the intestines, where they are absorbed into the body, they are not in the proper state (i.e. toxic). The hardest part in the diagnosis is that the digestion process can take up to 2-3 days. So the symptoms you feel today can be from any food eaten in the last few day.

After 3 years of trial and error, I have linked the following symptoms to food from my list:
– 5-7 days after eating wheat, I break out in swelling type pimples. This one is absolutely confirmed and repeatable. If I no wheat, but do eat other foods on my list, my face is clear for months.
– Also, within the month after eating wheat, I loose concentrtion and have memory struggles, takes another month to clear up
– The day after eating sugar, I absolutely have woken up mad. Or, during that day, if my patience is tried, I am simply snappy. I loose my patience almost immediately. (Now, that I know about no sugar, this marriage is going to last! 😉 )
– Garlic (and this one is the hardest) gives me a sore throat within a few hours, that last for a day, and I tend to get night sweats. (Note that since this is an immediate reaction, I am finally getting checked next week to see if this is an actual IgE Garlic Alergy, maybe alergy medicine will help this a little. Sore throats every day are not fun.

In general, I feel so much better when I stick to my avoidance. And, I am happy to have an answer. My 5 year sholder pain vanished. My energy increased. My sharp thinking returned.

Also, I was rash free for 3 years! (I just broke out again, most likely due to a ‘eat any food” binge last month when my father in law passed away.) Last thing, last week I found an actual alergist that did a biopsy of my skin to diagnose the rash. She thinks it is what the other person said above. But I was happy to give the skin to know for sure.

Good Luck, and I hope you feel better soon!



18 ananymout November 16, 2010 at 11:41

it could be garlic! that happens to me


19 Claire May 6, 2011 at 01:09

Hi Kate I have suffered with blister like eczema on both palms & fingers as well as one foot for years. Just recently I cut out refined carbs, & sugars, wheat fell into. Basically a gluten free diet, it’s been super hard but the times I’ve cheated the blisters appear. Once I started reading into gluten intolerance I realized I had other symptoms too. So I’m gonna stick with the diet & in a month I will try to introduce sugar & see how it goes. Then I will try wheat. I wann thank the Admin for this informative site.


20 Fern June 28, 2013 at 22:53

You should definitely read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, you could check out his blog first, by the symptoms you describe, I think you might have an “aha moment” and benefit a lot from his info.


21 Mariana March 5, 2009 at 00:08

My son is 3 1/2 yrs old and

My son is 3 1/2 yrs old and he is constantly with skin problems too. Doctors come up with steroids and Benadryl as a solution and Urticaria pigmentosa (mastocytosis) what the dermatologists determined as a diagnose.

On top of that he also has small rash too now. Not sure what food I should start excluding – but will try with the suggested above and tell you what we see


22 Jef April 20, 2015 at 01:18

You have Candida which has a high percentage correlation with allergies and skin problems….Candida leads to Leaky Gut which creates “new” issues. First you need to clear the overgrown yeast in your Gut by taking grapefruit seed extract…Then you need to cut out all breads…Starting reading about candida and YEAST overgrowth.


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