Is dermatitis herpetiformis an STD?

No, dermatitis herpetiformis is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is not contagious either. You get dermatitis herpetiformis when your body is sensitive to gluten. It is a chronic skin condition that is associated with gluten intolerance and manifests as clusters of itchy, blistering skin rashes.

 In a susceptible person, the process begins when gluten-containing food is eaten. The gluten triggers an immune response in which a self-reactive antibody of the immunoglobulin A (IgA) type moves to and deposits in the skin. Once there, the antibody prompts an inflammatory response that ultimately leads to the eruption of an inflamed, itchy, blistering skin rash.

Who does dermatitis herpetiformis affect?

Dermatitis herpetiformis can affect anyone at any age. However, it’s most likely to affect people:

  • Between the ages of 30 and 40.
  • Who have celiac disease.
  • Who have a first relative with dermatitis herpetiformis or celiac disease.
  • Who have a history of autoimmune conditions in their biological family history, like anemia, thyroid disease, vitiligo, Type 1 diabetes, alopecia areata and Addison’s disease.
  • Men and people assigned male at birth, but women and people assigned female at birth have it, too.
  • Of Northern European descent.

It’s possible but rare among children, people who are Black and people of African or Asian descent.