The Link Between Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the Herpes Rash?

DH popoosThe link between Hashimoto’s and the Herpes rash is this. If you have any thyroid issue whether it is Hashimoto’s, low thyroid or hyperthyroid. You will have an issue with gluten sensitivity.

Is Your Herpes Break Out Really a Gluten Rash?

Are you suffering from occasional herpes out breaks on areas of your body but not on the genitals?  Those with a sensitivity to gluten, often develop blistering rashes that are often mistaken for a herpes outbreak.

A Local Dermatologist told us he is upsetting the GI docs because he is diagnosing gluten sensitivity/celiac more than they are. He is sending patients out to be tested for gluten sensitivity/celiac when he sees these blistering rashes. He says if the fluid from one of these blisters is collected and tested it comes back very frequently positive for gluten sensitivity. However, most these rashes are so itchy, patients scratch and break the blisters before it can be collected.

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Call today! 530-615-4083

Are you frustrated because the herpes medication doesn’t seem to control it or provide any relief? A good way to control the outbreaks would be to identify the causes, and take effective measures to ensure that they remain out of your daily life. How was your herpes diagnosed? What if your herpes outbreak wasn’t caused by virus. What then?DH baby

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), an itchy, stinging, blistering skin rash, occurs when your skin reacts to gluten antibodies circulating in your system. Some people call dermatitis herpetiformis a “gluten rash” or a “celiac disease rash” because it occurs in conjunction with a sensitivity to gluten. Regardless of the presentation or symptoms, a positive diagnosis of DH always indicates that a gluten sensitive enteropathy is occurring.

DH back sideDermatitis herpetiformis (DH) can often be misdiagnosed and frequently confused with skin conditions such as: allergies, bug or mosquito bites, contact dermatitis, diabetic pruritus, eczema, herpes, shingles, hives and psoriasis.

DH faceReddened skin, circular bumps, and blisters filled with clear, neutrophil (white blood  cell), containing liquid are very common. Skin lesions and scarring can also appear, particularly in patients that scratch and irritate the skin during outbreaks.

The onset of DH may be acute or gradual, appearing in the same location every time. DH outbreaks are very often mirrored, meaning that the rash will occur on both sides of the body in exactly the same place. The hallmark sign of DH is an intensely itchy, blistering skin rash.

DH can appear anywhere on the body; however, It most frequently present in the following areas:

  • Buttocks
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Lower back
  • Scalp

Dermatitis herpetiformis sufferers usually experience to rash in the same location every time. The rash might be continuous, or it might come and go.

DH skinBefore the actual dermatitis herpetiformis breaks out, your skin may itch in that location, or it might feel is if it’s burning.  The rash itself usually includes reddened skin plus multiple small, pimple like-bumps which contain a clear liquid.

The dermatitis herpetiformis bumps usually take several days to heal (during which time new bumps usually appear nearby), and once healed, only behind small purple marks that lasts for weeks or months.  People with long-standing dermatitis herpetiformis usually have continuously reddened skin where the rash occurs.

As the name implies, dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) looks herpetic and is sometimes mistaken for a herpes virus. Red plaques erupt in groups of blisters, in the resulting intense itch can disturb sleep.

Who does dermatitis herpetiformis affect?

DH lipsUnlike gluten sensitive enteropathy or celiac disease, which is diagnosed more often in women, dermatitis herpetiformis is more common in men. In fact, some studies show a male-to-female ratio of up to 2-to-1 in dermatitis herpetiformis patients. Men are more likely to have a typical oral or genital lesion.

DH can affect people of all ages but most often appears for the first time between the ages of 15 and 40. People of northern European descent are more likely than those of African or Asian heritage to develop DH.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis is an autoimmune blistering disorder associated with a gluten sensitive enteropathy. People with DH have a condition of the intestinal tract identical to that found in gluten sensitive enteropathy or celiac disease, although gastric symptoms might be absent. Autoimmune processes can be arrested if the interplay between the Neuro-Endo-Immune Supersystem and environmental triggers is prevented by re-establishing intestinal barrier function.

How does a disorder that damages the intestines show up on the skin?

When a person has gluten sensitive enteropathy consumes gluten, the mucosal immune system in the intestines responds by producing a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin A. As IgAs enters the bloodstream, they can collect in small vessels under the skin, triggering further immune reactions that result in the blistering rash of DH.

DH handThe first clue that a skin eruption may be DH is that “it itches like crazy.” People are digging at themselves. As a result the blisters are almost always broken open by the time the DH suffer seeks medical help.

The second characteristic sign of DH is its location on the body. Lesions most often appear on the extensor surfaces – the forearms near the elbows, the knees, and the buttocks. The outbreak of the lesions also tends to be bilateral, meaning it appears on both sides of the body.

The grouping of the lesions provides a final clue. Although DH is not caused by a herpes virus, its lesions resemble those of herpes and hence the word herpetiformis. In both conditions, lesions are formed in small groups. Still, DH is often confused with eczema, a common inflammatory skin disorder that, like DH, results in an itchy rash that is often scratched raw.

A gluten sensitive enteropathy is different from celiac disease in that a gluten sensitivity is the result of a microscopic colitis. The damage to the gastrointestinal lining in microscopic colitis is not bad enough for a biopsy or endoscopy to see enough damage to be called celiac disease. Many patients report they have been checked by their doctor and were told their lining was red or irritated. So they did not have a gluten sensitivity because they did not have celiac. Many healthcare providers also assume a person’s immune system is always working at 100% optimal efficiency. When in fact, the immune system is so fatigued from constant exposure to gluten. It cannot create a response in the normal fashion.

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Breaking with BreadDH breaking bread

A strict gluten – free diet may take weeks to clear up an outbreak. Accidental ingestion of gluten will cause symptoms to recur. Hidden sources of gluten can prolong the outbreak.

For some it will be as easy as maintaining a gluten free lifestyle. Others will require our help in quenching the immunoglobulin reaction, controlling the immune response, restoring the digestive chemistry and repairing the gastrointestinal lining to enable them to maintain themselves through diet and lifestyle.

Fill out the Thyroid Assessment Questionnaire

Fill out the Autoimmune Questionnaire

Send in the Thyroid Assessment Questionnaire or Autoimmune Questionnaire to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.

Call today! 530-615-4083

32 thoughts on “The Link Between Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the Herpes Rash?

  1. I’m 28 years of age this is the second time I’ve had this herpes rash, I’ve tested for HIV it came out negative so what’s the cause. I had chicken pox when I was 23 years of age does that mean it layed dormant all this time and its still gonna reappear again

    • Unless your rash is on the genitals, it may be linked to exposure to gluten. Either through diet or contact through cosmetics or other hygiene products. The next time your rash occurs ask a dermatologist to test the fluid in the blisters for gluten antibodies.I would also recommend filling out the thyroid questionnaire. Dr. Dave

      • The rash only seems to appear on my upper body (thorax) now it has appeared on my lower abdomin from my neival to da spine. The first time it was from my right breast, to under arm up to the shoulder, it seems it accures in the same side which is my right side

      • Too often this is automatically diagnosed as herpes while over looking the possibility of being a gluten rash. If it occurs primarily on one side, I would be further inclined to think it is a gluten rash. This would be from gluten causing an immune attack on the nervous system and brain with the possibility of left sided headaches. Dr. Dave

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  3. Thank you for the feed back David. However, you are wrong about it being on one side. The article states: The second characteristic sign of DH is its location on the body. Lesions most often appear on the extensor surfaces – the forearms near the elbows, the knees, and the buttocks. The outbreak of the lesions also tends to be bilateral, meaning it appears on both sides of the body.
    Please let me know if this is incorrect.
    Again, thank you for your insight!

    • Hi Tricia, Autoimmune conditions are tricky and don’t always follow the rules for diagnosis. I have seen these blister occur on only one side of the body and not just on the extensor surfaces. I focus on the person, their condition and what is causing the condition. I would not dismiss it as a reaction to gluten because it was not on both sides. More often than not, autoimmune conditions forget to read the rule book.
      A classic example of this is people who don’t feel well assume they are healthy because they never get sick with the cold that is going around. A person with a suppressed immune system will never get sick until their condition has progressed to a bad state. Using specific lab testing I am able to identify these case. Then using the appropriate support for their condition get them feeling better.

  4. I suffer from an insanely itcy blister like rash on the back of both my hands in almost exactly the same place, it never really goes, just varies in intensity. My lips often blister and split too. I also have issues with my thyroid as I have had a cyst on it for over 2years now, I do not take any thyroid medication. Is it possible that my rash is gluten related?

    • Hi Katie, Yes, it is very likely it is a gluten rash. Lips peeling and blistering tends to be more of a pancreas issue. The rash may also be linked to lectins. Lectins can bind with TSH receptors and cause damage and thickening in the pancreas and intestinal lining. Fill out the Metabolic assessment from my website. This should tell you if other areas are contributing. Dr. Dave

  5. I was previously diagnosed with shingles years ago… and since have had several reoccurrences. What had brought me here today is a similar rash … it itches like crazy and is perfectly mirrored. Both elbows and forearms. Both knees and both inner thighs about two inches above my knees. And randomly other spots… sides/feet/legs just a couple.

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  9. I’m in desperate need of help. I’ve been sick since the day I was born & I’m 23 now. I’m literally covered from the top of my head to the tip of my toes with these lesions & rash. I itch nonstop, even in my sleep. Nothing will stop it. I’ve been pretty much completely living in my bed for the past two years. Most days I can’t even put clothes on because it hurts too bad. I’ve been to hundreds of doctors, and not one has ever been able to help me. I want to have a normal life & actually be able to get out of bed. Please help me.

    • Hi Brianna, I have numerous patients that have suffered the cytokine-induced sickness leaving them unable to leave the bed. Please take the time to fill out the thyroid questionnaire and return it to me. We can then set up a free 15 minute meet & greet to discuss your health allowing me to get a little more information. Dr. Dave

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  15. Hello, i had this little rash on my buttox pop up over the years and i was diagnosed shingles but no blood work was done . The rash is only in one spot it comes almost every 7 to 8 months sometimes a year will go by. Its really itchy then it hurts and scabs up and leaves scars from ne itching.

    • Depending on how long the rash last and because it appears every 7-8 months that may be a real case of shingles. If it appears around the fall equinox and if you live above the 37th parallel, it is possible that the increase in natural melatonin production from the shorter days and longer night may be stimulating your immune system to attempt to eliminate it through your skin. Again that would depend on what time of year the rash appears.

  16. Hi. Can DH lesions evolve into nummular-looking lesions? I’ve had extremely itchy bumps all over my body for the past 7 months. I’ve had several biopsies with results ranging from arthropod reaction to eczema to scabies. I’ve been treated for scabies with both permethrin and ivermectin, but most derms said they did not think it was scabies from the way it presents. The lesions start as very small “bug bites” that will very easily “pop” open with clear fluid coming out. Over a week or two, since the lesions are constantly breaking open with the slightest touch, they crust over and over again until eventually they look like the pictures of nummular eczema I’ve seen on the internet. This process takes about 4 to 6 weeks. Characteristics are that I’ve noticed that many (but not all) appear on both sides of my body in the same spots. Another thing is that sometimes the lesions will reappear in the same exact spot after it has already healed. When the lesions first appear, they look like many of the pictures I’ve seen of DH, but then many of them evolve into annular lesions like nummular eczema. So my questions are:

    1. Can DH evolve into nummular-looking lesions?
    2. Can a lesion that is biopsied (on the lesion, not beside it) after being scratched like crazy and crusted over be misdiagnosed as an arthropod reaction?

    • To answer your questions, let me first set up some background information. First) Traditional Medicine is predicated on naming “a disease”, i.e, nummular lesions. Second) if they do not know the name – close enough counts. They then use the horseshoes, hand grenades and healthcare (HHH) approach naming the condition because your symptoms are close enough, i.e. arthropod reaction.
      1: Yes, a gluten rash can have multiple shapes. Are you gluten free? As stated in this post, the fluid in the lesions is likely to contain antibodies to gluten. If you are gluten free, I tell my patients this is a sign they have been exposed to hidden sources of gluten.
      2: Using HHH, they are likely to say they couldn’t find the arthropods because they crawled away but it is close enough because they have to say something.
      Use it as a sign of exposure to hidden gluten or lectin. By the way, lectins are are invisible to antibody testing. The best way to test for them is a Stimulated Cytokine profile available in my office.

  17. I have open sores on my scalp that started 3 years ago. I was told it was a form of acne and the dr. prescribed oral medication that I took for 3 months. To make a long story short, The sores never cleared up and now I have them on my shoulders, buttocks and back of my legs. The sores start out like a small pimple then within a few days look like an open sore and then scab over. They do not hurt and sometimes they are itchy. I’ve been back to the dermatologist several times with them diagnosing me with scabbies, excezma or acne. All the medications that they have prescribe does nothing. I’m frustrated and embarrassed of my skin. The scabs seem deep & they are almost dark red/purple looking and my skin scars badly after they heal. I look like I have cigarette burns on my buttocks and shoulders. My hair is not growing back where the sores are on my head either. Does this sound like anything? I’m desperate in finding an answer that I’m not getting from several doctors that I’ve seen so far.

  18. I believe I have a gluten intolerance and have hives which get much worse when I eat gluten. It is better when I do not. To what extent to you need to omit gluten? I understand not eating it in breads etc. Is there a certain number of microns or milligrams. I do not have intestinal disorders and have tested negative for Celiacs.

    • A person can have a severe gluten sensitivity without being positive for Celiac. Gluten antibodies remain in the body for different periods of time. Gluten is a form of Lectin, which can provoke a direct immune response bypassing the humeral immunity antibodies.
      To answer you question, there is no such thing as gluten-lite. Avoid all dietary sources of gluten. It is not worth the risk of provoking an immune response. I know people who get anal about it and put in a second kitchen and pantry. I don’t think it should be taken that far. But definitely check your cosmetics, hair coloring, lotions and potions for gluten. Anything that is thick or sticky is suspect. Eliminate it as best you can to the level you need to.

  19. Hello! I was so excited to find this site! My Mother is 80 years of age and her bottom has looked like the one in this article. She has Parkinson’s, arthurtis, and dementia. Do you think if we take of off all gluten her bottom will stay cleared up. Her caregiver and home health nurse thought it was shingles. However she gets those dark purple scaring. And… She scratches it like crazy. Thanks so much. Cynthia

    • Cynthia, At 80, gluten-containing foods is likely the primary staple of her generations diet. It will likely clear up. A supplement like GlutenFlam would really help. It helps to digest the gluten and would help her while she transitions off of gluten. Let her know it does not give her license to continue eating gluten. I had them pull that one on me several times. I would also recommend HistDOA, Turmero and Resvero to help quench the inflammation. I have them all at the office if you want to order them. Dr. Dave

  20. Thanks so much for the fast reply! Do you have a website or can you email me prices of your products you recommend? Again, thank you.

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