How is bullous pemphigoid treated?

Bullous pemphigoid is most commonly treated with corticosteroids. These can be taken by mouth in addition to topically applied creams. Antibiotics or other anti-inflammatory medications may also be useful in mild cases. Severe cases may require the use of immunosuppressant medications.

Oral corticosteroids can have serious side effects, so it is important to closely follow your doctor’s instructions. Be sure to alert him or her of any problems while taking the medication. Side effects can include:

The risk of side effects increases the longer you take corticosteroids. For this reason, your doctor will try to come up with the most efficient treatment plan possible for you.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/10/2019.


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  • Joly P, Benichou J, Lok C, Hellot MF, Saiag P, Tancrede-Bohin E, Sassolas B, Labeille B, Doutre MS, Gorin I, Pauwels C, Chosidow O, Caux F, Estève E, Dutronc Y, Sigal M, Prost C, Maillard H, Guillaume JC, Roujeau JC. Prediction of survival for patients with bullous pemphigoid: a prospective study. Arch Dermatol. 2005 Jun;141(6):691-8.
  • American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Bullous pemphigoid. Accessed 11/27/2019.

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