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Symptoms and Treatment of Bullous Pemphigoid

What is Bullous Pemphigoid?
If you have large blisters in your skin it is because of a skin disease called Bullous pemphigoid. These blisters can occur in any part of the skin; however, it is commonly found in armpits and groin, where skin folds. It can also occur in the mouth and it is not life-threatening.

What causes Bullous Pemphigoid (BP)?
BP is an autoimmune disease caused by a malfunction in the body’s immune system. The purpose of the immune system is to protect the body from bacteria, disease and viruses; but in this situation antibodies are produced that attack healthy tissues, organs and cells. It has also been found that patients with BP also have rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, which are autoimmune. Some factors that trigger BP are drugs like furosemide or penicillin, physical traumas such as burns due to radiation, heat or sun and mechanical trauma.

The main characteristics of BP are as follows:

·         Body cells that are supposed to fight germs or infection start attacking the healthy skin cells thereby causing blisters. The real reason for this phenomenon is not known.

·         Not a communicable disease, meaning that it does not spread to other persons.

What are BP symptoms?
The following symptoms will indicate the presence of Bullous Pemphigoid:

·         Itchy skin with red, large welts/ hives appear prior to or during blister formation.

·         Presence of rash

·         Blisters in mouth or throat

·         Formation of ulcers in the skin

How do we treat BP?
·         Use of a topical corticosteroid  cream, such as Temovate cream

·         For moderate/ mild disease, treat with antibiotics such as Minocycline/ Tetracycline

·         For severe cases, treat with oral steroids such as prednisone/ prednisolone

·         Erythromycin and

·         Nicotinamide

BP is a disease that is self-limiting, which means that it gets fully cured and there is no need for further medication. It may take years to cure this disease; however, you can reduce the levels of medications to a low level. BP gets better even without any treatment and gets cured in 3-5 years.


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