Dermatitis herpetiformis : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Alternate Names : Duhring’s disease

Definition

Dermatitis herpetiformis is an extremely itchy rash made of bumps and blisters. The rash is chronic, which means it continues over a long period of time.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Dermatitis herpetiformis usually begins in people age 20 and older, although children may sometimes be affected. It is seen in both men and women.

The cause is unknown. However, dermatitis herpetiformis is frequently linked to gluten sensitivity (celiac sprue disease) in the small bowel.

Pictures & Images

Dermatitis, herpetiformis – close-up of lesion

Dermatitis herpetiformis is a chronic inflammatory disease that produces lesions that burn and itch intensely. This is a close-up of dermatitis herpetiformis lesions. The lesions are red (erythematous) and may be slightly raised (papular), form small pus-filled areas (pustules), or there may be blisters (vesicles). The disease develops suddenly and may last from weeks to months. It may occur in association with gluten (wheat) sensitivity and allergy.

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the knee

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the knee

This picture shows the knee of a person with a chronic inflammatory disease known as dermatitis herpetiformis. It produces red, raised (papular), small or large blisters (vesicles or bullae) that burn and itch intensely. Dermatitis herpetiformis develops suddenly, lasts for weeks to months, and may be associated with digestive diseases (such as Celiac disease).

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the arm and legs

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the arm and legs

This picture shows a chronic inflammatory disease (dermatitis herpetiformis) that produces red (erythematous), raised (papular), small or large blisters (vesicles or bullae) that burn and itch intensely. Dermatitis herpetiformis develops suddenly, lasts for weeks to months, and may be associated with digestive diseases (such as Celiac disease).

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the thumb

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the thumb

This picture shows the thumb of a person with a chronic inflammatory disease known as dermatitis herpetiformis. It produces red, raised (papular), small or large blisters (vesicles or bullae) that burn and itch intensely. Dermatitis herpetiformis develops suddenly, lasts for weeks to months, and may be associated with digestive diseases (such as Celiac disease).

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the hand

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the hand

This picture shows the fingers of a person with a chronic inflammatory disease known as dermatitis herpetiformis. It produces red, raised (papular), small or large blisters (vesicles or bullae) that burn and itch intensely. Dermatitis herpetiformis develops suddenly, lasts for weeks to months, and may be associated with digestive diseases (such as Celiac disease).

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the forearm

Dermatitis, herpetiformis on the forearm

This picture shows the forearm of a person with a chronic inflammatory disease known as dermatitis herpetiformis. It produces red, raised (papular), small or large blisters (vesicles or bullae) that burn and itch intensely. Dermatitis herpetiformis develops suddenly, lasts for weeks to months, and may be associated with digestive diseases (such as Celiac disease).


Review Date : 4/15/2009
Reviewed By : Jonathan Kantor, MD, North Florida Dermatology Associates, Jacksonville, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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