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Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Could Pityriasis Roscea be a coeliac related issue?

Hi, I've had a rash for around 8 months now. At first I took it for ringworm, although I was mystified as to how I could have picked this up (no children, no pets) and my doc confirmed that's what it looked like. After a few months of treating it with anti-fungal creams it just kept spreading. I mentioned it to my doc again and he said it looked like it might actually be Pityriasis Roscea. After looking it up on Dr Google, it did sound like a better fit, so I stopped using the cream and nothing happened. No better, no worse, so not ringworm after all, I'm guessing.

I had the 'herald patch' on my chest first then large red blotches appeared on my thigh, then my arm. I now have it from my shoulder to my knee, all down the right-hand side of my body. It's very localised to just that area. It is much worse after a shower and does have a slight scaly feel in places. If I scratch it inadvertently, (some patches do itch, others not), the skin comes off alarmingly easily.

However, the most significant thing about this is it's only supposed to last a few weeks. In bad cases it can last five months, maybe six. I have had it for at least 8 months, with no signs of abating. As I have several 'issues' (trigeminal neuralgia, subclinical hypothyroidism, anaemia and neutropenia, plus I am on Carbamazepine, which produces loads of drug-related illness), I have NO idea which one might be causing this. So I'm asking on each of my forums to see if it might go with one of these conditions. I don't have coeliac disease, but do believe I may suffer from gluten sensitivity, and I do already suffer from chronic urticaria, which is, of course, an autoimmune issue.

I'm not absolutely sure this rash IS Pityriasis Roscea, and my doc couldn't care less, so if you have something like this, or have had it, I'd be really interested if you could give me any information on which condition, if any, might be to blame, and if there is anything that could be done to clear it up.

Many thanks!

7 Replies

Hi Chancery and poor you, as you do have a lot going on health wise. Now in my opinion your GP should have organised a skin biopsy to determine whether it is fungal or a virus etc as it has gone on longer than expected.

Also you take Carbamazepine which you know has many side effects. And one of them can be 'drug induced Lupus' and I would want to have this investigated further. There is also a link with Lupus (SLE) and epilepsy for which Carbamazepine can be prescribed.

If you google Carbamazepine and lupus many articles will appear.

Here's a link about SLE from the Epilepsy foundation and under symptoms they mention 2 types of rashes:


So I definitely think that you need to be referred to a specialist and your GP is or should be the first point of contact but due to his attitude to you I'd ring the NHS helpline on 111 and ask their advice stating how unhelpful your GP is to you.

And I wish you well as you deserve answers.

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Thank you, Jerry, that is a very informative answer, as usual. I can always rely on you to come up with something useful!

Believe it or not, I have thought of lupus before, much earlier in my 'condition' (I'm never sure if I have one or a dozen!), but the symptoms never seem to mesh with mine. They still don't, if I'm honest, but this rash could pass for the discoid rash that they talk about in the link you give. I do also have the neutropenia, so that is two symptoms, and they do say that early in the condition you may not present with the required magic 4. Not that I am, in any shape, manner or form, wishing lupus on myself!

I agree with your analysis completely and have for some time felt very strongly that my body is having an autoimmune reaction to Carbamazepine, or it's creating an autoimmune reaction somehow, because I either never had these things before I started taking it, or they've got worse since I started. All that said, I am currently trying to reduce my Carbamazepine in the hopes of getting off it completely. I am just at a crucial point, 400mg, which is considered the lowest optimum dose, so if I can get below that I may be onto a winner, and I may start seeing improvements in my health. That's what I hope anyway!

Regardless, I am going to go and look at Lupus again now, just in case the worst happens and I do manage to get off Carbamazepine but find I still have all the health complaints. Oh say not so....

Thanks again - I do look forward to hearing from you any time I post on here. X


Also wanted to ask is it possible you could have Lichen Planus or Sclerosis? Both autoimmune related (so links with hypothyroid).


Had a look at these , Jacks, and sad to say, yes, it kind of could. It looks more like the Lichen Planus, but I do have some of the symptoms of the Lichen Sclerosis. I'll have to do more reading on these.

Damn, damn, damn. I hope it isn't either of them Pityriasis Rosea would be so much easier to deal with, but thanks for the tip. I'm not going to shoot the messenger! X


Oh yes, definitely no badge of honour with either of these two!


Like Jerry said - get a biopsy done. Ask for a referral even though you know it isn't ringworm. I'm horrified that you were given antifungals just on a whim. Ringworm is extremely contagious so if it had been that you could have contaminated everyone just by sharing towels.

Your GP can either (a) send you to see a dermatologist or (b) they have someone come routinely to the surgery and they'll do one there.

If it was gluten related it would be Dermatitis Herpetiformis and you would be insane with the itching, stinging, heat, blisters & pain.

Fobbing you off brings out the hulk in me - it could even be scabies (though you'd see them moving about under the skin). Either way you really don't want to be walking about with either a fungal infection or parasite in your skin. Get them to sort you out.


Thank you for the concern, Jacks - I appreciate that. It's nice that SOMEBODY cares! X

I knew it wasn't DH (worst luck; I know, truly sad, to wish to have a nasty rash, but hey, a positive diagnosis), but I did get right on with all the separate towels and separate washes and so forth (off my own research, not a peep out the doc), and a major pain it was. It was actually after months of that, and dedicated 'it puts the ointment on its skin' and nothing really happening that made me think - this really doesn't seem like ringworm.

I know I need to ask to see a dermatologist, but I'm waiting till I come off Carbamazepine. I cannot face another medical ologist, and I suspect that without Carbamazepine these things may melt away. If they don't then I will have to bite the bullet.


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