• Users Online: 597
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

  Table of Contents  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 119-121  

Coexistence of psoriasis with bullous pemphigoid

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication29-May-2012

Correspondence Address:
Raghavendra Rao
Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka 576 104
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5178.96707

Rights and Permissions

Psoriasis vulgaris and bullous pemphigoid (BP) represent two clinically well-characterized, chronic, inflammatory skin conditions. The concomitant occurrence of these two entities in a patient is rare. Here we report a 57-year-old male suffering from psoriasis vulgaris for 15 years on irregular medication who noticed eruption of blisters all over the body. We believe that this is the first case report of psoriasis vulgaris coexistent with bullous pemphigoid in Indian literature. Please check where you want bullous pemphigoid and where you want psoriasis pemphigoides.

Keywords: Methotrexate, bullous pemphigoid, salt split study

How to cite this article:
Rao R, Gupta A, Yunis F, Handettu S, Chandrashekar B. Coexistence of psoriasis with bullous pemphigoid. Indian Dermatol Online J 2012;3:119-21

How to cite this URL:
Rao R, Gupta A, Yunis F, Handettu S, Chandrashekar B. Coexistence of psoriasis with bullous pemphigoid. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2012 [cited 2021 Sep 28];3:119-21. Available from: https://www.idoj.in/text.asp?2012/3/2/119/96707

   Introduction Top

Psoriasis is a chronic T-cell-mediated inflammatory disease affecting the skin and joints. [1] Psoriasis has been consistently associated with many cutaneous and systemic conditions. Recent epidemiological studies have shown that psoriasis patients are prone to develop cardiovascular and other metabolic syndromes. [2] On the other hand, a variety of cutaneous disorders may be associated with psoriasis. [3] Occurrence of autoimmune blistering disease in psoriasis is rare; here we report a case of coexistence of psoriasis with bullous pemphigoid (BP).

   Case Report Top

A 57-year-old male presented with history of blisters all over the body of 10 days duration. They were associated with severe itching. The blisters were noticed first on the arm and later spread to other parts of the body. He also gave history of oral ulcers and difficulty in swallowing. The patient was a known case of psoriasis vulgaris since 15 years. He had used both modern medicines and alternative medicines for psoriasis for a variable amount of time; in particular, antipsoriatic treatment was discontinued 26 months before the presentation. Cutaneous examination revealed tense bullae and crusted erosions on upper and lower limbs [Figure 1]. Oral cavity showed erosions on the right side of buccal mucosa. Bulla spread sign and Nikolskiy's signs were negative. There were hyperpigmented scaly plaques on the trunk, extremities and scalp. Blisters were present both over the scaly plaques as well as on the normal skin [Figure 2]. A diagnosis of psoriasis vulgaris with BP was considered and he was investigated. His hematological and biochemical parameters were normal. The skin biopsy from scaly plaque was consistent with the diagnosis of psoriasis and showed hyperkeratosis, parakeratosis, acanthosis, regular elongation of rete ridges. Direct immunofluorescence of the perilesional skin showed a strong linear basement membrane zone (BMZ) band with C3 and a weak BMZ band with IgG [Figure 3]; salt split study of skin biopsy (direct salt split) showed BMZ band on the epidermal side ('roof pattern') confirming the diagnosis of BP [Figure 4]. Indirect immunofluorescence using human skin as substrate showed linear BMZ band in serial dilutions of 1:10 and 1:80. Patient was treated with methotrexate 10 mg/week orally along with topical betamethasone in cream base (0.3%). At 1-month follow-up, psoriatic lesions have improved; he used to get occasional new blisters. At 3-month follow-up, both conditions have subsided with postinflammatory pigmentation.
Figure 1: Multiple tense vesicles and bullae over the forearm.

Click here to view
Figure 2: Hyperpigmented scaly plaques on the thighs; single bulla on the normal skin on the left thigh.

Click here to view
Figure 3: Linear C3 basement membrane zone band (DIF, X20).

Click here to view
Figure 4: Linear basement membrane zone band with IgG seen on the epidermal side of the salt split skin (DIF, X20).

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Since the initial description of coexistence of bullous disease and psoriasis by Bloom in 1929, several autoimmune bullous diseases associated with psoriasis have been reported in literature. [4],[5] These include pemphigus vulgaris (PV), pemphigus foliaceus (PF), pemphigus herpetiformis, bullous pemphigoid (BP), linear bullous dermatoses (LAD), cicatricial pemphigoid (CP), epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (psoriasis bullosa acquisita) and a novel bullous dermatoses targeting 200 kDa molecule present in the lower lamina lucida. [6],[7],[8],[9] Among these, BP is the most frequent condition to be associated with psoriasis (psoriasis pemphigoides); less than 50 cases of such association have been described in the English literature. This association is reported to be more common among men than women with an average age of onset at 63 years. In most cases, psoriasis preceded the development of BP, with an average time interval of 20 years (range, 1-60 years) between the two conditions. [10]

The triggering factor in the association of psoriasis and BP remains unknown. Whether the treatment of psoriasis, pathological events at the basement membrane zone (BMZ) in psoriasis itself, common immunological or immunogenetic mechanisms, or a coincidence of multiple factors precipitates the autoimmune bullous diseases in these patients remain controversial. [11] Since the coexistence was seen in patients who received wide range of treatment for psoriasis as well as in untreated patients, it is difficult to incriminate a single agent as a potentially causative factor in the development of BP. [10] Reduced barrier function of the diseased psoriatic epidermis, combined with the irritant effects of therapies administered for psoriasis, such as anthralin, tar, and ultraviolet light, together with a low-grade immunologic BMZ insult, may precipitate blister formation. [7] Cram and Fukuyama demonstrated the triggering role of ultraviolet light B (UVB) in the induction of BP. [12] Psoralen and ultraviolet light A (PUVA) therapy is also known to induce blisters mimicking BP. [13] Recently, BP developing after efalizumab therapy for psoriasis has been described. [14] This molecule, however, has been withdrawn now from the market due to serious neurological side effects.

Changes at the BMZ in psoriasis itself may be responsible for precipitating the bullous disease. [11] The presence of chronic inflammation, trafficking of activated lymphocytes and abundance of antigen presenting cells in psoriasis could unmask, expose or alter BMZ antigens, giving rise to autoantibody production. [15] Electron microscopy studies have shown a focal discontinuity and reduplication of the basal lamina in psoriasis. The concept of "epitope spreading" whereby tissue damage from a primary inflammatory process causes the release and exposure of a previously 'sequestered' antigen, leading to a secondary autoimmune response against the newly released antigen, may provide us with a unifying explanation for the development of subepidermal bullous disorders. [16]

Common immunogenetic or immunological mechanisms may also play a crucial role in this disease association. Psoriasis has been associated with other autoimmune diseases such as discoid and systemic lupus erythematosus, myasthenia gravis, Crohns' disease and ulcerative colitis. It may be suggested that psoriasis provides a particular predisposition of the immune system that, under certain circumstances leads to autoimmune response. [5] Circulating antibodies against components of the Malpighian layer and stratum corneum have been detected in the serum of psoriatic patients. The dysregulation of T-cell activity in psoriasis might result in the induction of specific antibodies to basement membrane antigens. [10] Psoriasis has been historically considered as Th1-type immune mediated disease. However, recent studies have established that Th17 is the primary pathogenetic subset; this subset of T cell also plays a key role in autoimmunity. [17]

Methotrexate has been used with good effect to treat BP-associated psoriasis. Steroids should not be used for the fear of triggering pustular psoriasis. Other drugs that have shown to be beneficial include dapsone, azathioprine, cyclosporine, erythromycin with etretinate. [11] We have treated our patient with methotrexate (10 mg per week). At 3-month follow-up both conditions responded well with resultant postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. We believe that this is the first case report of psoriasis vulgaris coexistent with BP in Indian literature.

   References Top

1.de Felice C, Chimenti S. Overview of Psoriasis. In: Chimenti S, editor. Psoriasis. Florence: See- Firenze; 2005.p.19-21.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Christophers E, Mrowietz U. Psoriasis. In: Burgdorf WH, Plewig G, Wolff HH, Landthaler M, editors. Braun- Falco's Dermatology.3 rd ed. Heidelberg: Springer; 2009.p. 506-18.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Saraceno R, Chimenti S. Associated conditions of psoriasis. In: Chimenti S, editor. Psoriasis. Florence: See- Firenze; 2005. p. 105-11.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Bloom D. Psoriasis with superimposed bullous eruption. Med J Rec 1929;130:246.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Grunwald MH, David M, Feuerman EJ. Coexistence of psoriasis vulgaris and bullous diseases. J Am Acad Dermatol 1985;13:224-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Endo Y, Tamiira A, Ishikawa O, Miyachi Y, Hashimoto T. Psoriasis vulgaris coexistent with epidermolysis bullosa acquisita. Br J Dermatol 1997:137:785-6  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Barnadas MA, Gilaberte M, Pujol R, Agustí M, Gelpí C, Alomar A. Bullous pemphigoid in a patient with psoriasis during the course of PUVA therapy: Study by ELISA test. Int J Dermatol 2006;45:1089-92.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Chen KR, Shimizu S, Miyakawa S, Ishiko A, Shimizu H, Hashimoto T. Coexistence of psoriasis and an unusual IgG-mediated subepidermal bullous dermatosis: Identification of a novel 200-kDa lower lamina lucida target antigen. Br J Dermatol 1996;134:340-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Morris SD, Mallipeddi R, Oyama N, Gratian MJ, Harman KE, Bhogal BS, et al. Psoriasis bullosa acquisita. Clin Exp Dermatol 2002;27:665-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Wilczek A, Sticherling M. Concomitant psoriasis and bullous pemphigoid: coincidence or pathogenic relationship? Int J Dermatol 2006;45:1353-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Kirtschig G, Chow ET, Venning VA, Wojnarowska FT. Acquired subepidermal bullous diseases associated with psoriasis: A clinical, immunopathological and immunogenetic study. Br J Dermatol 1996;135:738-45.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Cram DL, Fukuyama K. Immunohistochemistry of ultraviolet-induced pemphigus and pemphigoid lesions. Arch Dermatol 1972;106:819-24.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Thomsen K, Schmidt H. PUVA-induced bullous pemphigoid. Br J Dermatol 1976;95:568-9.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Duong TA, Buffard V, André C, Ortonne N, Revuz J, Bagot M, et al. Efalizumab induced bullous pemphigoid. J Am Acad Dermatol 2010;62:161-2.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Cooke N, Jenkinson H, Wojnarowska F, McKenna K, Alderdice J. Coexistence of psoriasis and linear IgA disease in a patient with recent herpes zoster infection. Clin Exp Dermatol 2005;30:643-5.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Chan LS, Vanderlugt CJ, Hashimoto T, Nishikawa T, Zone JJ, Black MM, et al. Epitope spreading: Lessons from autoimmune skin diseases. J Invest Dermatol 1998;110:103-9.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Griffiths CE, Barker JN. Psoriasis. In: Burns T, Breathnach S, Cox N, Griffiths C, editors. Rook's Textbook of Dermatology. 8 th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell; 2010 .p. 20. 1-20. 60.  Back to cited text no. 17


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

This article has been cited by
1 Interaction of Psoriasis and Bullous Diseases
Teruki Dainichi,Kenji Kabashima
Frontiers in Medicine. 2018; 5
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Buena respuesta al tratamiento con metotrexato en un paciente con penfigoide ampolloso asociado a psoriasis
Felipe César Benavente-Villegas,José María Sanchez Motilla
Piel. 2016;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 A Systematic Review of Concomitant Bullous Pemphigoid and Psoriasis
Kevin M. Donnelly,Laura K. Ferris,Jessica A. Kaffenberger
Journal of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. 2016; 1(4): 150
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Concomitant Psoriasis and Bullous Pemphigoid – a Case Report / Udružena pojava psorijaze i buloznog pemfigoida – prikaz slucaja
Lidija Cvetkovic Jordanov,Lidija Kandolf Sekulovic,Željko Mijuškovic,Lidija Zolotarevski,Radoš Zecevic
Serbian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology. 2014; 6(1)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Psoriasis moderado-grave y penfigoide ampolloso tratados satisfactoriamente con ustekinumab
M. José Alonso Corral,Manuel Galán-Gutiérrez,Carmen M. Martínez-Peinado,Ricardo Ruiz-Villaverde
Piel. 2014;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded487    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 5    

Recommend this journal