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Dermatitis Herpetiformis Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Jami L Miller, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Mar 31, 2016
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Jami L Miller, MD Assistant Professor, Division of Dermatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical School; Director of Phototherapy Unit, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Consulting Attending Physician, Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Jami L Miller, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Shehnaz Aysha K Zaman, MD Resident Physician, Department of Dermatology, Vanderbilt Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Julia R Nunley, MD Professor, Program Director, Dermatology Residency, Department of Dermatology, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center

Julia R Nunley, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology, Medical Dermatology Society, Medical Society of Virginia, National Kidney Foundation, Phi Beta Kappa, Women's Dermatologic Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: American Board of Dermatology<br/>Co-Editor for the text Dermatological Manifestations of Kidney Disease .

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Russell Hall, MD J Lamar Callaway Professor And Chair, Department of Dermatology, Duke University Medical Center, Duke University School of Medicine

Russell Hall, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Federation for Medical Research, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Novan for consulting; Received consulting fee from Stieffel, a GSK company for consulting; Received salary from Society for Investigative Dermatology for board membership.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous authors, Kristina Collins, MD, and Hunter Sams, MD, to the development and writing of this article.

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Light micrograph shows neutrophils in the dermal papillae, with fibrin deposition, neutrophil fragments, and edema (hematoxylin and eosin stain).
Papillary microabscesses form and progress to subepidermal vacuolization and vesicle formation in the lamina lucida, the weakest portion of the dermoepidermal junction (hematoxylin and eosin stain).
Classic vesicles of dermatitis herpetiformis.
Immunofluorescence showing immunoglobulin A at the dermoepidermal junction (direct immunofluorescence stain).
Polymorphic lesions on extensor surface of arm.
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