Do you have one of these skin conditions? Gluten could make it worse


In recent years, many people have opted to go on a gluten-free diet in the hope of trying to eat healthily. While some sources say that gluten can only cause health-related issues to those with Celiac disease, other sources say it can also be a problem to other people as well.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a class of proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. They are called prolamins. It contains two main proteins called glutenin and gliadin. These proteins are highly elastic and are what make dough suitable for making baked products.

Gluten can be responsible for causing or worsening a number of skin conditions. Some proteins in gluten such as gliadin can cause increased production of intestinal proteins known as Zonulin. This causes gaps to open in the intestinal cells called enterocytes which are usually tightly bonded. This results in the body producing antibodies against the gliadin.

In 25 percent of the people with Celiac disease (which is a condition brought about by severe gluten intolerance), a rash called dermatitis herpetiformis may appear. But this is not the only skin condition caused by gluten. It can cause a variety of skin conditions not only to people with Celiac disease but also to a larger group of people who have Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Some hyperpigmentation and inflammatory skin conditions have also been linked to gluten. Below are some skins conditions that can be brought about or worsened by gluten consumption.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

As mentioned earlier, this is an inflammation of the skin that causes itchy rashes that appears on the elbows, buttocks, knees, scalp, and back in about 25 percent of the people suffering from Celiac disease. While medication can be prescribed for this rash, mostly in the form of over the counter creams, reports indicate that maintaining a gluten-free diet can be effective in clearing this skin condition.


This is a condition that causes a red, scaly, itchy and dry rash on the skin. According to reported cases, there is a link between this condition and gluten not only in people with Celiac disease but also to those with gluten sensitivity. The condition has been linked with gliadin, one of the main proteins in gluten. Many people with Psoriasis, once they go on and maintain a gluten-free diet, report dramatic improvements in their skin condition.


Eczema causes a white, scaly rash on the skin. While this condition mostly affects children, it can also appear in adults. According to some reported cases, Eczema has been linked to gluten. In cases where the patients went on a gluten-free diet, there was an improvement in their skin conditions.


80 percent of the people in western culture between ages 11 and 30 suffer from acne. This hyperpigmentation condition causes red, pus-filled pimples to appear on the skin. While there are no medical reports linking acne to gluten, many people have reported considerable improvements after adopting a gluten-free diet combined with low-carb intake.

Alopecia Areata

This skin condition causes hair loss and has been linked with Celiac disease. A reported 0.7 percent to 3.8 percent of the people with Celiac disease are said to have Alopecia Areata. Some reports in the past seemed to indicate that it affects male adults more than the females, but new studies show that it can equally affect both. Most people with this condition experience hair regrowth after going on a gluten-free diet. Even in some cases where people don’t have Celiac disease, hair growth has be attributed to a gluten-free diet.

There are many other skin conditions that have been linked to gluten including chronic urticaria, Keratosis pilaris, cutaneous vasculitis and many others.

Diet recommendations

A paleo diet is recommended if you have the skin conditions mentioned above including:

• Fish – Mackerel, Salmon, and Herring are some of the fish that are great for skin health. They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammations and keep your skin moisturized and thick.

• Fruits – fruits such as Avocados, tomatoes are good for your skin.

• Vegetables – Spinach, Broccoli, walnuts, sunflower seeds, red or yellow bell peppers, and sweet potatoes are also good for your skin


There have been significant and considerable reports to ascertain the relationship between gluten and skin conditions. While there are many non-Celiac people with gluten sensitivity, a large number of people don’t suffer from any gluten effects. It’s important to mind what you eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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