Will you get a rash if you have a gluten allergy?

People who have an allergy to gluten may find that the consumption of gluten triggers a range of unpleasant symptoms, from migraines and lethargy, to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or constipation, to skin problems, including chronic rashes and hives. The frequency and severity of these symptoms will vary from person to person, and avoiding gluten consumption is the only way to control them.

Some people react to the consumption of gluten by producing large amounts of the IgA antibodies. In these people, eating gluten triggers an autoimmune response to what it perceives to be an "invasion." However, while the body attacks the gluten proteins it also attacks itself. In some people the body deposits the IgA into the upper dermis (the skin). The gluten, which is absorbed into the blood stream and is circulated around the body, is attacked by these deposits in the dermis, causing eruptions on the skin that manifest as a blistering, burning and itchy rash known as Dermatitis Herpetiformis.


Dermatitis Herpetiformis is mainly located on the scalp, elbows, buttocks, knees, legs, sacrum, and back, but it can also affect other areas of the body. Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a relatively rare condition, and it mostly affects young men. People who suffer from this persistent skin condition are also very likely to test positive to gluten enteropathy, the most common form of celiac disease.

If you have Dermatitis Herpetiformis the only treatment is a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life. Even after you have eliminated all gluten from your diet, it may still take months, or even years, until the Dermatitis Herpetiformis completely resolves. While the drugs Dapsone, sulphapyridine or sulphamethoxypyridazine are available to suppress the skin outbreaks caused by an allergic reaction to gluten, they do carry a risk of side-effects, they don't address the cause of the rash, and they may even prolong and increase unseen damage being done to your body by the consumption of gluten.