An exception within the group of autoimmune blistering diseases: Dermatitis herpetiformis, the gluten-sensitive dermopathy

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Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is characterized by chronic, itching papules, seropapules, small vesicles and, exceptionally, large blisters. The distribution of these polymorphic symptoms around the elbow, knee, buttock, and back is suggestive of the diagnosis. DH is further confirmed by the accumulation of granulocytes at the papillary dermis, resulting in a subepidermal split formation and by the presence of a unique, granular IgA precipitate in the uppermost dermis. Prognosis is predominantly determined by other autoimmune pathologies, malabsorption, or very rarely by lymphomas. Some of these diseases can be prevented by an early-onset, strict gluten-free diet, which is therefore the suggested treatment option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalDermatologic Clinics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2011



  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Gluten sensitivity
  • IgA precipitate
  • Transglutaminase autoimmunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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