Dermatitis Herpetiformis
Natural Remedies

Reduce Dermatitis Herpetiformis Symptoms with Natural Remedies

on Mar 03, 2023| Modified on Mar 03, 2023

Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is a skin manifestation of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Celiac disease is triggered by ingesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and causes an immune response in the small intestine that damages the villi, the finger-like projections that help absorb nutrients from food. This damage can lead to the malabsorption of nutrients and a range of health problems.

DH occurs in about 10% of people with celiac disease and is characterized by itchy, blistering skin rashes that usually appear on the elbows, knees, buttocks, and back. The rash is caused by the buildup of immune complexes under the skin, which leads to inflammation and blistering.

People with DH have the same immune response to gluten as those with celiac disease but may not experience the same gastrointestinal symptoms. Therefore, DH may be some people's only symptom of celiac disease.

This article will discuss some of the most effective natural remedies for Dermatitis Herpetiformis, backed by research.

Natural Remedies for Dermatitis Herpetiformis

In addition to a gluten-free diet, several natural remedies and supplements can help manage the symptoms of Dermatitis Herpetiformis.

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a plant known for its medicinal properties, including its ability to soothe skin irritations and promote wound healing. Applying aloe vera gel directly to the affected areas can help reduce itching and inflammation associated with Dermatitis Herpetiformis.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile is an herb that has anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties, making it an effective remedy for Dermatitis Herpetiformis. You can brew chamomile tea and apply it topically to the affected areas or use chamomile cream or ointment.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for healthy skin, and studies have shown that people with Dermatitis Herpetiformis are often deficient in this vitamin. Supplementing with vitamin D can help improve skin health and reduce the frequency of flare-ups. However, it's important to consult a healthcare provider before taking supplements.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the inflammation associated with Dermatitis Herpetiformis. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

5. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut and are crucial to digestive health. Research has shown that probiotics can help improve symptoms in people with Dermatitis Herpetiformis by restoring the balance of gut bacteria. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, or you can take a probiotic supplement.

6. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a role in skin health and immune function. Studies have shown that people with Dermatitis Herpetiformis often have low zinc levels. Supplementing with zinc can help improve skin health and reduce the severity of symptoms.

7. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerve function and plays a role in skin health. Studies have shown that people with Dermatitis Herpetiformis often have low levels of vitamin B12. Supplementing with vitamin B12 can help improve skin health and reduce the severity of symptoms.

8. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an effective natural remedy for Dermatitis Herpetiformis. It can help reduce itching, inflammation, and redness. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with carrier oil like coconut or olive oil and apply them directly to the affected areas.

9. Turmeric

Turmeric is an herb used in Indian and Ayurvedic medicine to treat skin conditions. Its active ingredient, curcumin, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation and promote wound healing. You can take turmeric supplements or mix turmeric powder with water to make a paste and apply it topically to the affected areas.

10. Calendula

Calendula is an herb known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is commonly used in topical creams and ointments for various skin conditions. Applying calendula cream or ointment to the affected areas can help reduce itching and inflammation associated with Dermatitis Herpetiformis.

It's important to note that while natural remedies can help manage the symptoms of Dermatitis Herpetiformis, they should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. Working with a healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that includes a gluten-free diet and any necessary medications is crucial.


In conclusion, Dermatitis Herpetiformis can be challenging to manage, but natural remedies and supplements can relieve symptoms. Aloe vera, chamomile, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, zinc, vitamin B12, tea tree oil, turmeric, and calendula are all effective natural remedies for Dermatitis Herpetiformis. However, it's important to consult a healthcare provider before starting new supplements or remedies.

Continue reading below for more remedies from Earth Clinic readers!



Castor Oil, Antifungal Cream

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Posted by Twinsauntymom (Ca) on 03/03/2023 11 posts

Topical treatments to ease the maddening symptoms of Dermatitis Herpetiformis - the intensely itchy rash you may have when you have celiac disease.

I have had celiac disease since I was in my early 20s, I'm now in my 60s. Unfortunately I only found out I have celiac disease about three years ago, when I was researching the 'stress rash' I developed every couple of weeks or so throughout my adult life.

I discovered photos of the rash on the internet and found out that although not everyone with celiac disease has the rash, everyone with the rash has celiac disease. I now try to live absolutely gluten free - that means checking the labels on cosmetics, food, cleaning products, anything you put on your skin. Every now and again I'll slip and not read/interpret a label correctly, or there's some cross contamination in food I eat when dining out. I always pay for it with a new breakout of my rash.

With each new rash attack, I quickly reached the stage where I was willing to rip my skin off to remove the itch - so I tried anything and everything I could think of. I found a couple of things applied topically which help reduce/remove the itch. I find it's most helpful if I use them at the first sign of the preliminary heat sensation, when I see the red patch forming, before the blisters come up.

Castor Oil

One is castor oil. Spread a small amount of the oil on the affected area with a finger or tissue. Then add a thick dry dressing to keep your clothing and bedding clean. It's very effective, but can be messy. It soothes the itch and can prevent the blisters from forming altogether, or reduce the amount and intensity of blistering. Reapply as often as necessary - if the itch starts to come back or grow in intensity.

Anti-Fungal Cream

The other is anti-fungal cream or spray. Nothing special. You can use a brand name or the generic products from your local pharmacy. They're very effective at reducing the itch. However, if the blisters are already formed the spray can sting viciously. Be prepared. Once I've climbed down from the ceiling after applying the spray, I find the itch and burn of the rash will reduce within a few minutes. The cream has the same soothing effect, without the very painful sting.

The effectiveness of the anti-fungal products seem to depend on how much gluten I've eaten and how intense the rash is going to be. They are surprisingly soothing in a very short space of time. I don't think they stop the blisters from forming, but definitely reduce or remove my desire to tear off that section of skin.

My doctor told me 30 years ago to wet a cloth with the hottest water I could find and scrape off the blisters. Then to use surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol) to clean the skin. He then suggested using an antibiotic or antiseptic cream on the raw skin left behind. Apply a dressing until the area is dry and scabbed over. This last method immediately removes the itching with the removal of the blisters, but the scarring left behind can be ugly and long lasting.

Castor oil and anti-fungal cream are less painful, and leave minimal scarring, just the redness from the rash itself.

I do hope this information helps. Good luck.