http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/36695"A long-term gluten-free diet as an alternative treatment in severe forms of dermatitis herpetiformis"
Nino M, Ciacci C, et al, J Dermatolog Treat, 2007; 18(1): 10-2. (Address: Department of Dermatology, University 'Federico II' of Naples, Naples, Italy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Summary: In a study involving 72 patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), a complete remission of skin manifestations was found in 87% of subjects adhering to a gluten-free diet for 18 months.
Subjects were divided into 2 groups - Group A adhered to a gluten-free diet and received the medication, dapsone, while Group B only adhered to a gluten-free diet and did not receive the medication, dapsone.
Results found that after 18 months, subjects who adhered to the gluten-free diet without any additional drug therapy had an 87% complete remission of skin symptoms rate, compared to an 88.9% complete remission rate among subjects adhering to the gluten-free diet and receiving dapsone.
Among subjects with severe forms of dermatitis herpetiformis, an even greater percentage of subjects who adhered to the gluten-free diet without any additional drug therapy were found to show complete remission (70.4%), compared to those receiving dapsone as well as the dietary changes (66.6%).
The results of this study suggest that, "… if administered steadily and for a long period, [adhering to a gluten-free diet] can be a valid treatment for severe forms of DH."