The goals of bullous pemphigoid treatment are to help the skin heal as quickly as possible and relieve itching. Your doctor will likely prescribe a combination of drugs that inhibit immune system activities that cause inflammation. These drugs may include:
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- Corticosteroids. The most common treatment is prednisone, which comes in pill form. But long-term use can increase your risk of weak bones, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cataracts. Corticosteroid ointment can be rubbed on your affected skin and cause fewer side effects.
- Immunosuppressants. These drugs inhibit the production of your body's disease-fighting white blood cells. Examples include azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran) and mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept). Immunosuppressants are often used to help reduce the dosage of prednisone you may need.
- Anti-inflammatories. A variety of drugs with anti-inflammatory properties may be used alone or in combination with corticosteroids. Examples include methotrexate (Trexall), a rheumatoid arthritis drug; tetracycline, an antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties; and dapsone (Aczone), a leprosy treatment.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed Sept. 14, 2012.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Bullous pemphigoid and other pemphigoid disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 14, 2012.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Sept. 14, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Sept. 14, 2012.
- Bullous pemphigoid. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/bullous_diseases/bullous_pemphigoid.html?qt=pemphigoid&alt=sh. Accessed Sept. 14, 2012.