Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
For Journalists
Telephone: 412-586-9776

Want to Make an Appointment or Need Patient Information?

Contact UPMC at
1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Go to Find a Doctor to search for a UPMC doctor.​

UPMC Launches First-Ever Gastrointestinal Dermatology Clinic

PITTSBURGH, May 13, 2013 – Today, UPMC opened the nation’s first-ever gastrointestinal dermatology clinic to provide coordinated care to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease patients with associated dermatologic conditions.
Up to 30 percent of patients with IBD and celiac disease have cutaneous (skin-related) manifestations of their disease, yet until now there has not been a specialty clinic devoted specifically to these patients.
IBD, which affects as many as 1.4 million people in the U.S., primarily includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s is a severe and chronic disease that causes inflammation, ulcers and bleeding in the digestive tract. Crohn’s often affects the end portion of the small intestine, but can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis is another type of IBD which affects the colon (large intestine) and rectum. IBD differs from irritable bowel syndrome, which does not cause ulcers or inflammation and does not damage the bowel. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder which damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. People with celiac cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
The clinic, located on the fifth floor of the Falk Medical Building in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh, will initially be open the first Monday of each month, though hours may change depending on demand. Patients must first be referred from UPMC-based gastroenterology departments.
“This is a novel service that we can provide to our patients,” said Lisa Grandinetti, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh and dermatologist at UPMC, who will be leading the new clinic. “We’re excited to open the first-ever specialty clinic to address the needs of IBD patients.”
Dermatologic manifestations of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases can occur as both the skin and the GI tract can be affected by the same conditions. Making the correct diagnosis of these conditions requires the ability of physicians to recognize the dermatological presentations of certain GI diseases. For example, dermatitis herpetiformis, or severely itchy small blisters on the elbows, knees and buttocks, is diagnostic for the GI condition known as celiac disease.
Other conditions that will be addressed by this clinic include, but are not limited to:

  • Erythema nodosum
  • Pyoderma gangrenosum
  • Aphthous ulcers/aphthous stomatitis
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis and celiac disease
  • TNFα associated psoriasiform dermatoses
  • Nutritional deficiency dermatoses

Dr. Grandinetti joined UPMC in 2009, and has since been receiving referrals from gastroenterologists for patients with IBD who have skin-related problems. Her interest in cutaneous manifestations of GI disease began after medical school, during her residency at the Cleveland Clinic.

“I saw firsthand how patients’ quality of life was significantly affected by their skin condition, often when their GI disease was under control,” noted Grandinetti. “With time, experience and a growing number of patients with cutaneous manifestations of GI diseases, I felt it was a good time to create a specialized clinic that would provide dermatologic and gastroenterologic coordinated care to patients with IBD and other GI issues.”

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |