Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is a chronic blistering of the skin. It ranges from mildly itchy welts to severe blisters that are susceptible to infection.
It may affect a small area of the body or be widespread. The majority of those affected are elderly, but it can occur in people of any age.
What Causes Bullous Pemphigoid?
Bullous pemphigoid is an autoimmune disorder, meaning it is caused when the body's own immune system attacks healthy tissue. The immune system produces antibodies to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and other infections. People with BP produced antibodies that attack certain parts of the skin. Some factors have been shown to play a role in triggering BP. These include drugs (furosemide, penicillin), mechanical trauma, and physical traumas (burns from radiation, sun, or heat).
How is Bullous Pemphigoid Diagnosed and Treated?
Because BP can appear in many different ways, your doctor may perform a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms and preventing infection. Oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline or minocycline, may be useful for mild to moderate disease. Their anti-inflammatory effects are used to control the immune system, not to kill bacteria. They can be used in combination with potent topical corticosteroids for more rapid relief.
What Should I Expect if I Have Bullous Pemphigoid?
BP is a self-limiting disease that is in most cases completely clears up over time and the treatment can be stopped. Treatment is usually needed for several years, but generally after a few months it is possible to reduce the dose to reasonably low levels. BP sometimes has a pattern of remissions and flare-ups. It may be dormant for 5 or 6 years, and then suddenly flare.
Tip of the day >>Skin health- drink a glass of water with a slice of lemon/lime first thing in the morning and drink at least five more glasses of water hot or cold during the day.
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