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Celiac disease concerns about gluten absorption through skin

Lana Bandoim's picture

One of the common concerns among patients diagnosed with celiac disease is cross contamination with gluten. It is not enough to eliminate gluten from your diet because your lifestyle choices also have to change. Gluten can lurk in a variety of products including skin care items. Dr. Michael F. Picco recently addressed concerns about gluten absorption through the skin.


Dr. Michael F. Picco shared that gluten is a large protein molecule that cannot be absorbed through the skin. However, Dr. Picco states that celiac disease patients still have to be careful about their beauty and skin care products. First, items such as lipsticks or glosses that are used on your mouth can easily be swallowed, so you may experience a reaction to gluten. In addition, cross contamination with beauty products is an issue because you may end up with the products on your hands and touch your mouth later. Furthermore, your toothpastes and mouthwashes can have gluten and cause a reaction.

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Dr. Michael F. Picco recommends checking the ingredient list for every product you use. If you are still worried about the gluten content, then you may want to contact the manufacturer directly and ask questions. It is also important to keep in mind that the ingredients can change over time, and manufacturers do not always announce the modifications.

Despite multiple reassurances from doctors and researchers that gluten is too large to be absorbed through the skin, many celiac disease patients report problems with beauty and skin care products that have gluten. One of the most frequent complaints is a skin rash or hives. Although cross contamination and touching your mouth with fingers covered in a product with gluten can account for some of these reactions, there are still questions. Dr. Michael F. Picco points out that several problems may be occurring at the same time. First, you may have an additional allergy to gluten that is responsible for the skin reaction. Second, you may be experiencing dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a common symptom of celiac disease, and causes hives, blisters and other skin issues.

Read more about celiac disease:
Doctors ignore proper celiac disease diagnosis and care
Celiac disease tripled in children in last 20 years