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Bullous Pemphigoid - Symptoms and Treatment

Bullous pemphigoid is a skin disorder characterized by large blisters . The condition is caused by antibodies that accumulate abnormally in a layer of the skin called the basement membrane. A majority of cases occur in persons 80 years of age or older. The antigen of this autoimmune disease is localized to the hemidesmosome . Most cases of the disease are in older people but the disease can affect younger people, even babies. Bullous pemphigoid can be chronic, mild and not affect the general health or it can be severe and compromise the health of the sufferer. The diagnosis can be confirmed by a skin biopsy showing the abnormal antibodies deposited in the skin layer. Treatment is with topical cortisone creams, but especially severe cases may sometimes require high doses of cortisone-like drugs (steroids) or immune suppression drugs, such as azathoprine (Imuran).

Bullous Pemphigoid is a very common type of skin disorders but is very dangerous also. Bullous pemphigoid can also involve the mouth. The disease is rarely life-threatening. Bullous Pemphigoid is a rare, autoimmune, chronic skin disorder characterized by blistering. Bullous is the medical term for a large blister (a thin-walled sac filled with clear fluid). Bullous is the medical term for a large blister (a thin-walled sac filled with clear fluid). Bullous pemphigoid is a blistering disorder which is characterized by large blisters. Typically it appears as red patches of skin which later begin to develop blisters. Bullous Pemphigoid can be localized to one area of the body or be widespread. The blisters frequently rupture to leave eroded areas of skin. Occasionally blisters may form in the mouth which can be more serious. 

Causes of Bullous Pemphigoid

Common Causes of Bullous Pemphigoid :

  • Some viruses, infection, prolonged sitting in sunlight, or other factors can also lead to the condition of bullous pemphigoid.
  • bullous pemphigoid can also require immune suppression drugs, such as azathoprine (Imuran). Other treatments that have been used for severe disease include intravenous immunoglobulin infusions.
  • The side-effects due to some medicines - like furosemide, sulphasalazine, penicillins, and captopril may lead to formation of bullous pemphigoid.
  • Pernicious anaemia, rheumatoid arthritis, and vitiligo are also one of the main causes of bullous pemphigoid.
  • Skin Antibodies can be detected circulating in the blood stream of the patient of bullous pemphigoid.
  • It is not contagious disease i.e. cannot be transmitted from one person to other.
  • Bullous pemphigoid is an autoimmune disease, which means something causes the immune system to attack healthy tissues in the body, in this case the skin.
  • Bullous pemphigoid can be chronic and mild without affecting the general health of affected individuals.

Symptoms of Bullous Pemphigoid

Some common Symptoms of Bullous Pemphigoid :

  • Itching.
  • Gum or mouth sores.
  • Bleeding gums.
  • General ill feeling.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Skin ulcers may form.
  • Rashes.

Treatment of Bullous Pemphigoid

  • Oral steroids (prednisone, prednisolone) are the treatment of choice for severe cases.
  • Several oral medications can be used including Dapsone, Prednisone , and Imuran. These are all very powerful medications with side effects that require your doctor to monitor your blood work at least once a month.
  • Polysporin or some other antibacterial ointment.
  • Corticosteroids are the treatment of choice. They are given by mouth or by injection. Topical (applied to a localized area of the skin) corticosteroids may also be used on early, localized lesions.
  • Tetracycline and Minocycline antibiotics are very useful for mild to moderate disease.
  • Strong corticosteroid creams such as Temovate.








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