Bullous Dermatoses

Bullous dermatoses

Bullous dermatoses is a painful skin disease that presents itself through collective blisters and mucous membranes. The disease can be crippling and in severe outcomes, fatal.

Frequent clinical forms of bullous dermatoses include:

  • paraneoplastic pemphigus
  • pemphigus vulgaris
  • cicatricial pemphigoid
  • bullous pemphigoid
  • dermatitis herpetiformis
  • linear IgA dermatosis

If you are experiencing signs of bullous dermatoses, it is important to seek help from a qualified dermatologist.

Contact the Skin & Cancer Center of Carefree or Scottsdale for consultation and treatment at (480) 596-1110.


The most common form of bullous dermatosis is bullous pemphigoid. Symptoms of this skin disease typically present themselves in those 60 and older. Sizable blisters filled with fluid appear on parts the body that flex, including upper thighs, lower abdominal area and armpits. Immune system suppressants are common medications used for treatment. This disease can be deadly for elderly people with existing health issues.

Paraneoplastic Pemphigus and Pemphigus Vulgaris

Two less common forms of blistering diseases are pemphigus vulgaris and a less severe variant, pemphigus foliaceus, in which the blisters are more prominent on the surface of the skin.

Pemphigus vulgaris affects men and women equally. Most people with this variation of the disease are between 40 and 60 years old. Children and elderly people have also been diagnosed.

Symptoms of pemphigus vulgaris (PV):

  • Extensive blistering that causes pain
  • Oral skin damage is common as 50 to 70% of lesions
  • Severe cases can result in fluid loss and temperature imbalance

Symptoms of pemphigus foliaceus (PF):

  • Blistering will occur on face and scalp areas then progress to the chest and back, but are typically not painful.

Symptoms of paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP):

  • Highly agitating sores and blisters appear around the oral area including the lips and esophagus.
  • Severe lung damage

In most cases, pemphigus is a chronic condition. However, it is best contained through initial diagnosis and proper treatment. Treatment for pemphigus is usually performed in three phases which include control, consolidation and maintenance. The treatment and medication used for pemphigus is dependent upon each patient’s case.

Dermatitis herpetiformis

This highly irritating and uncomfortable chronic rash presents itself through blisters and bumps on the skin. Specific areas commonly affected include knees, elbows, the buttocks and back. It can be seen in both children and adults, affecting both men and women. It typically coincides with a sensitivity to gluten in the diet. To diagnose this form of dermatitis, dermatologists typically perform a skin biopsy and, in some cases, a blood test. Antibiotics and restricted diets are used as treatment, as well as other options depending upon the symptoms.

Linear IgA dermatosis

Linear IgA is a rare form of bullous dermatosis affecting only one in 250,000 each year. Typically, symptoms appear on the skin presenting symmetrically in areas such as the knees, elbows and buttocks. In most cases, the causes are unknown.

If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of bullous dermatoses, it is important to seek help from a qualified dermatologist. Contact the Skin & Cancer Center of Scottsdale for consultation and treatment at (480) 596-1110.

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