Celiac disease not only affects the digestive tract but also the skin. Some individuals with the condition suffer from dermatitis herpetiformis which is a skin manifestation of celiac disease. On the other hand, this is not the only skin issue experienced by those who were diagnosed with the disease.
Take note that psoriasis, eczema, chronic dry skin, acne, alopecia areata and hives can also manifest. Even though there is no clear proof that the consumption of gluten causes these skin conditions, some individuals find relief by sticking with a gluten-free diet.
Dermatitis herpetiformis is a skin rash that manifests after consuming gluten-based foods. This is considered as one of the itchiest rashes an individual can experience and the lesions can burn, sting and itch as well. These lesions can develop anywhere but most often on the knees, elbows, lower back, buttocks and back of the head and neck.
If an individual has this condition, he/she is considered to also have celiac disease as long as the blood tests are positive. A gluten-free diet is the long-term treatment for this rash. The doctor can prescribe dapsone which is a medication that temporarily relieves the rash and its itchiness.
Based on several studies, it revealed that psoriasis has a link with gluten consumption. This skin condition causes scaly, thick red plaques to develop on the skin. Those who have psoriasis have elevated levels of antibodies to gluten circulating in the bloodstream which indicates a reaction to gluten.
It is still unclear if gluten is the cause for psoriasis or those with the disease have heightened risk for having celiac disease. It is recorded though that those who start the gluten-free diet experience a reduction in their symptoms whether diagnosed with celiac disease or not.
Eczema is an itchy rash that leads to scale-like, white patches on the skin. In most cases, it often affects children but can still occur in adults. Even though the main treatment involves topical corticosteroids, there is a possible link to celiac disease. A gluten-free diet can help manage this skin condition.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the hair follicles and leads to hair loss. In addition, this condition might have a link with celiac disease but it is not clear.
In a study conducted, those who have chronic hives also had celiac disease. When a gluten-free diet is started, there is evident reduction in the symptoms of hives within 5-10 weeks.
Even though there is no connection between celiac disease and keratosis pilaris, many individuals claim that the condition subsides if a gluten-free diet is started. Take note that keratosis pilaris is quite common among those who have eczema and tends to run in families.