Dermatitis Herpetiformis – Diagnosing and Treating | Allergy

Dermatitis Herpetiformis – Diagnosing and Treating

by Allergy Guy

Dermatitis herpetiformis can easily be confused with other types of eczema. Correct diagnosis leads to appropriate treatment.

Dermatitis herpetiformis is also known as Duhring’s disease

Diagnosing Dermatitis Herpetiformis

One problem in diagnosis is that the blisters are sometimes scratched off before the doctor can see them.

If the doctor suspects dermatitis herpetiformis, a blood test for IgA antibodies and a skin biopsy looking for IgA deposits should verify the diagnosis.

Note that starting on a gluten free diet may cause this test to give a false negative, in other words, the test may say you don’t have Duhring’s disease, when in fact you do.

Treating Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Duhring’s can be treated in two ways: with drugs or with diet.

These two approaches are entirely different, and there is really only one right answer. We’ll look at the temporary fix in this article, and the “right answer” in the next article.

Drug Treatment of Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Although drugs may provide temporary relief, which is worth having, this should be considered a short-term solution.

Drugs have side-effects and are not good for your health.  There is always a tradeoff between the benefit of pharmaceuticals, and the side-effects.

In this case, the drugs do not cure the disease in the slightest, they just hide the symptoms.

Given that the problem is irritating on the skin, but serious or fatal in organs like your heart, brain etc., do not rely on drugs to fix the problem.

The usual drug is Dapsone.  Not everyone can tolerate this drug, so other, less effective drugs can be used, including colchicine, lymecycline, nicotinamide, tetracycline, sulfamethoxypyridazine and sulfapyridine.

You may need to maintain drug treatment for 1 to 3 years.

Be sure to change your diet and re-evaluate your need for drugs regularly.

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