Signs and Symptoms of Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis is a chronic skin condition that is characterized by a blistering and itchy rash. The signs and symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis typically include the following:

  • Intense itching: People with dermatitis herpetiformis often experience intense itching and burning on their skin.
  • Blisters: The skin may develop clusters of small blisters that are filled with clear fluid. These blisters can be extremely painful.
  • Papulovesicular lesions: These are raised bumps that may contain fluid. They can appear anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the arms, legs, back, and buttocks.
  • Rash: The skin may develop a red, inflamed rash, which is often accompanied by hives.
  • Lesions: Lesions may appear on the scalp, face, neck, or jaw. These can be painful and can cause scarring if they are scratched or infected.
  • Chronic rash: Some people with dermatitis herpetiformis experience a chronic rash that comes and goes.
  • Tender skin: The skin may be tender to the touch and may be red and inflamed.
  • Scarring: Chronic skin lesions can cause scarring if they are not treated properly.
  • Gluten sensitivity: People with dermatitis herpetiformis often have a sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
  • Oral issues: Dermatitis herpetiformis can affect your tooth enamel. You may see pitting, discoloration or horizontal grooves on your teeth. Although rare, you might have canker sores.

The same response to gluten that’s affecting your skin may also damage your small intestine. That can cause digestive symptoms including:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

It is important to remember that the symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis can vary from person to person, and not everyone will experience all of these symptoms. If you are experiencing skin symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.