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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Comment from: Fatboy57, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 06

My husband was diagnosed almost a year ago with bullous pemphigoid after being through tests and drugs. The biopsy showed what it was. His life is miserable. He was very healthy and active until this disease got him. He is on steroids (which are starting to affect his eye sight) and triamcinolone acetonide cream which he applies to his sores several times a day. He can't be in the sun, water, can't ride in a vehicle. So basically he is a hermit. I have to modify his clothes so they don't rub his skin. He has wanted to give up living so many times because of this disease. He just takes 1 day at a time.

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Comment from: Victor, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: February 05

After visiting 3 skin specialists I was finally diagnosed with bullous pemphigoid. I am taking dapsone and another anti-itching drug in the evening. Right now I have about 10 blisters in the chest. I managed this problem by rupturing the blister as early as possible and pulling out a small white spine that is usually at the center. I believe that spine feeds the blister. I also use a medicated cream that I buy at a dollar store and cover with it the legs and the chest. This seems to relieve the itching. I also developed one or two blisters in my mouth and one relatively large one in the throat that was making it difficult to swallow. The laryngologist finally decided to agree with my skin specialist who felt this was also bullous pemphigoid. I read that soap also helps but I felt that if I bathe often the layer of cream will disappear and make the skin more vulnerable. I would like to hear other opinions on this. The throat thing is scary, but it looks like for now it is going away.

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