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.
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.
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.