It is slightly more common in men than females at a ratio of 3:2.DH is a persistent condition and only approximately 10% of patients have a spontaneous permanent remission.It is a rare disease in the UK with the incidence being approximately ,000.The first suggestion that patients with DH also have an enteropathy identical to coeliac disease (CD) was made in 1967.
DH may be present at any age but most commonly begins between the ages of 15-40.
However, in the majority of patients the enteropathy is mild and does not give rise to symptoms such as abdominal pain, weight loss and diarrhoea.
This was confirmed by showing the enteropathy cleared with gluten withdrawal from the diet and recurred when gluten was reintroduced.
It was subsequently shown that all patients with DH have evidence of a gluten enteropathy.
Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) was first described as a distinct clinical entity in 1884 by an American dermatologist, Louis Duhring.The name was descriptive, dermatitis being inflammation of the skin and herpetiformis meaning group.