Dermatitis Herpetiformis is an autoimmune disease characterized by:
- clinically – a vesicular and pruritic eruption;
- histologically – granular IgA deposits on the papillary dermis;
- frequently associated to gluten-sensitive enteropathy;
- genetic determinism.
Dermatitis herpetiformis can be associated to some autoimmune forms:
- endocrine disorders: thyroid conditions, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), Addison’s disease;
- collagenases: Sjogren’s syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus;
- cutaneous disorders: vitiligo, alopecia areata.
Medical and Social Relevance:
- onset at the peak productivity age (40-50 years old);
- genetic predisposition: 4.5-6.5% of DH patients have 1st degree relatives suffering from DH and an even higher percentage have relatives who suffer from gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
Key Clinical Symptoms and Signs:
- polymorphic eruptions made up of vesicles, papules, erosions, crusts, often located on the extensor surfaces of the large joints, scalp, face or trunk. Skin lesions are often herpetiform grouped.