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Bullous pemphigoid is a blistering skin disease which usually affects middle aged or elderly persons. It is an immunobullous disease, i.e. the blisters are due an immune reaction within the skin. What does it look like?Characteristically, crops of tense, fluid-filled blisters develop. They may arise from normal-looking or red patches of skin, and the blisters may be filled with clear, cloudy or blood-stained fluid. Bullous pemphigoid is usually very itchy. It may be localized to one area but is more often widespread, often favouring body folds. In severe cases, there may be blisters over the entire skin surface as well as blisters inside the mouth.
What causes bullous pemphigoid (BP) ? BP is an auto-immune disease. The immune system normally makes antibodies to attack bacteria, viruses, and other 'germs'. In people with auto-immune diseases, the immune system also makes antibodies against part(s) of the body.In people with BP, antibodies are made against the membrane between the top layer of skin (the epidermis) and the next layer (the dermis). Chemical reactions and inflammation in the skin due to this antibody attack causes fluid to build up as blisters between these two layers of skin.It is not known why BP or other auto-immune diseases occur. It is thought that something triggers the immune system to attack the body's own tissues. Possible triggers include viruses, infection, sunlight, or other factors. A medicine is thought to be the trigger in a small number of people. For example, BP is a rare side-effect of the medicines: furosemide, sulphasalazine, penicillins, and captopril. However, no trigger is identified in most cases.
What are the signs and symptoms of paraneoplastic pemphigus?Almost all patients with paraneoplastic pemphigus have an associated malignancy. Oral blisters, erosions and ulcerations may be very painful. Other mucosal surfaces affected include the nose, throat and genitals. Skin lesions occur anywhere on the body and are highly variable in appearance. They can be red and inflamed spots, scaly plaques, fluid-filled blisters or ulcerative lesions. It may be confused with several other blistering skin conditions including pemphigus vulgaris, erythema multiforme, bullous pemphigoid, and lichen planus.
Homeopathy and Other Alternative TherapiesWhile there are some pemphigus/pemphigoid patients who believe that alternative and/or homeopathic treatments have helped them, it should be noted that there have been no studies or medical research with findings indicative of effective treatments or procedures in this area.