Bullous Pemphigoid as Pruritus in the Elderly A Common Presentation

Christiaan V. Bakker*, Jorrit B. Terra, Hendri H. Pas, Marcel F. Jonkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

IMPORTANCE In the literature, patients with bullous pemphigoid have been reported to have itch without blisters. Clinical observations in these patients have varied from eczematous or urticarial to papular or nodular skin lesions. Here we investigated the spectrum of clinical variants.

OBSERVATIONS Fifteen patients with itch without blisters had immunopathologic findings of bullous pemphigoid. Mean age at diagnosis was 81.7 years. No blistering occurred during the mean 2.2 years of follow-up. Mean delay of diagnosis was 2.8 years. Clinical symptoms were heterogeneous: pruritus sine materia (no primary skin lesions), eczematous, urticarial, papular, and/or nodular skin lesions were seen. Treatment with potent topical corticosteroids or methotrexate sodium led to remission in 11 patients.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Itch without skin lesions can be the only symptom of bullous pemphigoid. Therefore, it is important to include serologic and direct immunofluorescence in the diagnostic algorithm of itch. We propose the unifying term pruritic nonbullous pemphigoid for all patients with immunopathologic findings of bullous pemphigoid, itch, and no blisters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-953
Number of pages4
JournalJama dermatology
Volume149
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2013

Keywords

  • LOW-DOSE METHOTREXATE
  • GENERALIZED PRURITUS
  • TOPICAL STEROIDS
  • SUBACUTE PRURIGO
  • NODULARIS
  • PRODROME
  • DISEASES
  • VARIANT
  • AUTOANTIBODIES
  • DERMATOSES

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