Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a chronic disease occurring in association with asymptomatic gluten-sensitive enteropathy. This disease is also known as Duhring disease, dermatitis multiformis, Brocq-During disease and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
Gluten is a protein found in oats, wheat, barley and rice, and celiac disease is caused by the sensitivity to gluten. Gluten’s intolerance causes intestine lining to lose villi, the tiny folds that are responsible for absorption of nutrients. There is also inadequate production of digestive enzymes in the intestinal lining.
Dermatitis herpetiformis on face causes discrete papules, small blister, waxy lesions and smooth itchy lesions that resemble hives. If untreated, dermatitis herpetiformis on face usually wax and wane, although symptoms persist with constant diet of gluten. It may take long time for the symptoms to clean when on gluten-free diet.
Some of the common symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis on face are stinging, itching, and burning, and scratching them further irritates the eruptions.
Gluten free diet and antibiotics dapsone and sulfapyridine are the treatments for dermatitis herpetiformis on face. These antibiotics effectively reduce the rashes within few days, but their use in long-term can cause anemia. Taking gluten-free diet in the long run is the only way to get rid of the symptoms. Antibiotics are used initially to control the symptoms and inflammation. If the gluten diet is resumed, the symptoms often return.
UV light also provides some relief in the symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis on face. Sulphamethoxypyridazine and Gulphapyridine are used to suppress the skin manifestation. It may take several months for skin to improve, and these drugs offer no protection against complications of gluten hypersensitivity.
To reduce itching during dermatitis herpetiformis on face, use cool-water soaks to soothe the irritation. Topical steroid lotions, creams and ointments can also reduce inflammation, but these must be used with caution, as they can get absorbed through the skin into blood stream causing toxic effects. Antihistamines and calamine lotions are quite effective in reducing itching and irritation.
To treat dermatitis herpetiformis on face or dermatitis herpetiformis on hands, take the prescribed medication, and inform doctor of any other medication you are taking. Avoid the activities that cause excessive sweating or overheating. Maintain good hygiene so that the risk of secondary bacterial infection is reduced. Monitor your skin for lesions, discharge, swelling or pain, and if you notice any of these, consult your physician. Frequently wash towels, clothes, and linens, as it can reduce the risk of infection transmission.