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Bullous Pemphigoid

Bullous Pemphigoid often starts with a red, itchy rash that looks a bit like eczema or hives and the itchiness can be very irritating. It can remain in that form, but usually will evolve into large painful blisters up to 5cm in diameter and filled with clear fluid, and sometimes blood.

Blisters last a few days before healing without leaving a scar, but a cycle develops in which more form

The rash and blisters are usually seen on the upper arms and thighs, sometimes spreading to body folds and the abdomen (tummy), although the mouth and eyes can also be affected.

Treatment is with various medications, listed on the treatment pages, as well as aspiration and dressing of large blisters. This should be done very carefully by someone who can ensure that no infection is created.

There has been research recently on the treatment of Bullous Pemphigoid that suggests that Doxycycline (an antibiotic) can be an effective and less risky treatment than Steroids. Topical steroids are also a less harmful treatment when the disease isn’t too serious.

For more detailed information on Bullous Pemphigoid, see the British Association of Dermatologists Patient Leaflet on it under the heading Pemphigoid.

The New Zealand Dermatology service, DermNet NZ also usually produces very good explanations of Bullous diseases and other skin diseases.

Bullous Pemphigoid
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