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Gluten and Skin

February 21, 2012


Can gluten containing ingredients irritate the skin (like wheat protein in shampoo, for instance)?




Hi Kathy. There is an autoimmune skin condition related to ingesting gluten called dermatitis herpetiformis. Not all people with celiac disease have this condition.  It is not related to having skin contact with gluten; it is the consumption of gluten that causes the symptoms.

One caution I would like to mention is that when using products containing gluten ingredients, like the shampoo with wheat protein you mentioned, wash your hands thoroughly before eating to make sure no traces of the product accidentally get ingested.  Many people with celiac disease avoid products like this to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion. See this link for further information: Celiac Disease and Skin


Nancy Dickens, BS, RD, LDN

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