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Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a chronic disease of the skin
marked by groups of watery, itchy blisters that may resemble pimples
The ingestion of gluten (from wheat, rye, and barley)
triggers an immune system response that deposits a substance, lgA
(Immunoglobulin A), under the top layer of skin. IgA is present
in affected as well as unaffected skin. DH is a hereditary autoimmune
gluten intolerance disease linked with celiac disease. If you have
DH, you always have gluten intolerance.
With DH, the primary lesion
is on the skin, whereas with celiac disease the lesions are in the
small intestine. The degree of damage to the small intestine is
often less severe or more patchy than those with celiac disease.
Both diseases are permanent and symptoms/damage will occur after
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