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:
- 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 causes fewer side effects.
- Drugs that suppress the immune system. 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.
- Other drugs that fight inflammation. Other drugs with anti-inflammatory properties may be used alone or with corticosteroids. Examples include methotrexate (Trexall), a rheumatoid arthritis drug; tetracycline, an antibiotic; and dapsone (Aczone), a leprosy treatment.
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- Murrell DF, et al. Management and prognosis of bullous pemphigoid. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 6, 2015.
- Bullous pemphigoid. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/bullous_diseases/bullous_pemphigoid.html?qt=pemphigoid&alt=sh. Accessed Oct. 6, 2015.
- Leiferman KM. Epidemiology and pathogenesis of bullous pemphigoid and mucous membrane pemphigoid. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 6, 2015.
- Leiferman KM. Clinical features and diagnosis of bullous pemphigoid and mucous membrane pemphigoid. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 6, 2015.
- Mustafa MB, et al. Oral mucosal manifestations of autoimmune skin diseases. Autoimmunity Reviews. 2015;14:930.