How is it treated?

If you've been diagnosed with bullous pemphigoid, you'll probably be referred to a dermatologist (skin specialist) for treatment.

The aim of treatment is to stop new blisters forming and heal the blisters that are already there.

Your specialist may prescribe quite powerful medication with potentially severe side effects, so the smallest possible dose is used to minimise this.

You'll usually be prescribed corticosteroids (either tablets or cream), sometimes alongside "steroid-sparing" medication that allows doctors to reduce the dose of steroids.You may also be prescribed an antibiotic.


Corticosteroids,or steroids, are an anti-inflammatory medicine prescribed for a wide range of conditions.

If the affected area of skin is only small, you may be prescribed steroid cream to rub into the area. For larger areas of blisters, you may be given steroid tablets.

If the blisters are severe, you may be given a high dose to start with to get the condition under control and stop the blisters appearing. This may take several weeks.

The dose is thengradually reduced, and you'll either come off the steroids or be kept on a low dose for a long time.

To use the lowest possible effective dose of steroids, your doctor may give you "steroid-sparing" medicine to take alongside, which is described below.

These work by suppressing your production of antibodies.

The idea is that side effects will be less troublesome if low doses of two different tablets (steroids and immunosuppressants)are used instead of one high dose of steroids. This is known as steroid sparing.

Looking after your skin

Blisters should be left intact, if possible, to reduce your risk of infection.

However, if they're particularly large and in a difficult placesuch as the sole of your foot they may be carefully pierced with a sterile needle to release the fluid. Theskin of the blister should be left.

If blisters do break, they heal quickly.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018