Bullous Pemphigoid - Experience

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What is bullous pemphigoid?

Bullous pemphigoid is an uncommon skin disease characterized by tense blistering eruptions on the surface of the skin. Occasionally, the inner lining tissue of the mouth, nasal passages, or conjunctivae of the eyes (mucous membrane tissue) can be involved. The condition is caused by antibodies and inflammation abnormally accumulating in a particular layer of the skin or mucous membranes. This layer of tissue is called the "basement membrane." These antibodies (immunoglobulins) bind to proteins in the basement membrane called hemidesmosomal BP antigens and this attracts cells of inflammation. The mucous membrane disease is also referred to separately as mucous membrane pemphigoid.

A majority of those affected by bullous pemphigoid are 50 years of age or older. While the cause is unknown, it is felt by some that an aging immune system may become activated in certain individuals with a genetic predisposition to develop bullous pemphigoid.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Sue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I had severe bullous pemphigoid for approximately 8 years. I was given 60mg oral steroids for about four years gradually decreasing over the next few years. I felt extremely ill both physically and mentally and worked full time. After having the illness for approximately one year it became very difficult to work and I had to take early retirement. One symptom I had was severe pains in my joints which left me virtually unable to walk. This coupled with weight gain from the steroids has left me with permanent disablement with severe osteoarthritis in knees and hips. I still get the illness if I take extended courses of antibiotics for my asthma.

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Comment from: JackD, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 04

After 3 month stay in New Zealand I was diagnosed with bullous pemphigoid. Most of body is red and very itchy. I wore taped on possum fur gloves to protect my body from my scratching. I was treated with high dose cortisone cream first for 1 hour entire body, and then nonionic body cream over entire body. I had light blistering in the beginning. I went into remission for 2 years and it just came back after taking antibiotic cefaclor 500 3 times day for foot infection. I will stop the antibiotics now since the infection is cured and expect the rash will stop itching and will cure.

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