Bullous pemphigoid is a chronic blistering disease that usually occurs in people over sixty years of age. The blisters are large and fluid-filled, and can occur anywhere on the skin but are more common on the skin fold areas such as the groin and armpits. Bullous Pemphigoid

In some cases it can also involve the mouth, eye and lower abdomen as well. Initially, the skin will be itchy and large hives or welts will develop before the blisters themselves appear.

It’s important to know that the condition is rarely life-threatening, but sepsis is possible if the ruptured blisters become infected.

What causes bullous pemphigoid?

It is an autoimmune disease. This means that the cells in the body that normally fight infection or germs attack the skin cells, causing blisters. No one knows why the immune cells start attacking the skin cells.

Certain medications may trigger the condition, including Enbrel and penicillin. UV light and radiation can also play a role in triggering the condition.

Bullous pemphigoid is not contagious; that is, it does not spread from person to person. So you don’t need to worry if you come into contact with someone that currently has the condition.

What are the treatment options?

When the blisters break, the best thing to put on the blisters is Polysporin or some other antibacterial ointment to prevent infection. See our wound care page for more specific information.

Several oral medications can be used including Dapsone, Prednisone, and Imuran. These are all very powerful medications with side effects that require your doctor to monitor your blood work at least once a month, but they can be very effective.

There is no medical cure for bullous pemphigoid. The condition can be controlled with strong medications and it sometimes gets better on its own and can even disappear completely after a few years.