Bullous pemphigoid (BP)

Bullous pemphigoid, BP is a chronic autoimmune skin disease, involving the formation of subepidermal (below the skin) blisters . The body makes antibodies against the body’s type XVII collagen.Bullous_Pemphigoid


  • Blisters appear as thin-walled sac filled with clear fluid.
  • skin is typically very itchy
  • large, red welts and hives may appear before or during the formation of blisters.
  • The blisters are widespread and usually appear on the areas of the body that flex or move (flexural areas).
  • About 15-20 percent of people with BP also develop blisters in the mouth or down the throat in the esophagus


  • via skin biopsy
  • tissue sample is taken and tested through autofluorescence for antibodies to collagen


  • used to prevent infection
  • provide symptom relief
  • antibiotics such as tetracycline and minocycline are often used
  • the use of oral steroids such as prednisone and prednilosone may be to relive symptoms in severe cases
  • immunosupressants such as Immuran, Cellcept, Methotrexate, cyclophosphamide and Neoral may be used to manage symptoms. 


Diaz, L A, Emery, D, J, Fairley, J A, Giudice, G J, Liu, Z,  Taylor,  A F  and Troy, J L. 1993. A passive transfer model of the organ-specific autoimmune disease, bullous pemphigoid, using antibodies generated against the hemidesmosomal antigen, BP180. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 92(5): 2480–2488.


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