Bullous Pemphigoid - Treatment

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What is the treatment for bullous pemphigoid?

Bullous pemphigoid can be chronic and mild without substantially disturbing the general health of affected individuals. It can also terribly affect daily lives in its more severe forms. Mild bullous pemphigoid can resolve with topical cortisone creams but sometimes requires high doses of cortisone ("steroids") taken internally. Severe bullous pemphigoid can also require immune-suppression drugs such as azathioprine (Imuran), mycophenolate (Cellcept), and methotrexate (Rheumatrex). Tetracycline has also been used as an option to reduce inflammation. Other treatments that have been used for severe disease include intravenous immunoglobulin infusions, typically given monthly.

Research has indicated that large quantities of high-potency topical corticosteroids applied to the entire body surface were safer and more effective in controlling extensive bullous pemphigoid than oral corticosteroids. It was felt by the researchers that topical corticosteroids should now be the treatment of choice for bullous pemphigoid, particularly when the disease is not extensive.

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Comment from: Murphy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I was recently diagnosed with bullous pemphigoid. I spent 4 days in the hospital. My course of treatment is topical steroid creams and oral prednisone. It is a difficult regime to say the least. I am hoping for a short bout of this terrible skin disease. I am very itchy which makes the blisters open. I will return to the dermatology department in about 3 weeks and hope that no more treatment will be necessary. However I am being realistic and know this will be a lifetime condition with remissions and flares. It is better for me to be prepared rather than be disappointed. I wish everyone with this terrible disease a speedy recovery.

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Comment from: Deborah1961, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I was just definitely diagnosed with bullous pemphigoid yesterday and starting a regime of oral steroids, vitamin B3, and an antibiotic. I have been dealing with this for almost a year and it took the 3rd dermatologist to do a biopsy and find out exactly what I had. I am 100% covered (with just a few on face). Overnight I can get dozens of blisters. It hurts to wear clothing, walk, lay, shower, and I am having more trouble dealing with the constant pain than I am with the disfiguring marks. I am going to be 60 and this is by far the worst thing I have ever had to deal with.

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