Gluten and skin disease beyond dermatitis herpetiformis: a review

Int J Dermatol. 2021 Mar;60(3):281-288. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15098. Epub 2020 Aug 18.


Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, is known to cause an immune reaction in patients with celiac disease (CD) resulting in small bowel villous atrophy and impaired nutrient absorption and cutaneous manifestations in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). It is common that patients associate skin conditions with their diet, and the advantages of a gluten-free diet (GFD) are brought up frequently. Indeed, there is evidence that certain dermatologic conditions can respond to a GFD, especially for those with concomitant CD and DH. In the last decade, new data have become available on the significance of gluten in skin disease. Herein, we review the role of gluten and a GFD on various cutaneous diseases beyond DH.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Celiac Disease* / complications
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis*
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Glutens / adverse effects
  • Humans


  • Glutens