What are Bullous Diseases?
Bullous Diseases are so termed because they are characterized by raised, fluid-filled blisters called bullae. Bullous Diseases are comprised of the seven disorders listed below, as well as staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and others.
Bullous Pemphigoid is an autoimmune skin condition in which the body assaults the epidermis’s basal layer. This illness is more prevalent in the elderly and is characterized by chronic, itchy blisters.
Linear Immunoglobulin A (IgA) illness is defined by linear immunoglobulin A (IgA) deposits in the skin’s epidermis-dermis junction. Immunoglobulins are a family of big glycol-proteins produced by the plasma. Clusters of burning, irritating lesions arise in the case of this condition, frequently between skin folds (such as between the upper thigh and the torso). This illness can affect both adults and children and is caused by certain medications, including vancomycin.
Acquisita Epidermolysis Bullosa is a chronic illness in which blisters and lesions occur spontaneously on otherwise healthy-looking skin, either without obvious reason or as a result of slight trauma (usually to the elbows, knees, ankles, and buttocks). This disorder is more prevalent in adults. This disorder can affect the hands, feet, eyes, mouth, genitals, and the inside of the neck, causing pain and scars.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis is an autoimmune reaction to gluten that may be asymptomatic in the absence of symptoms. It is defined by clusters of raised, itchy lesions resembling hives and can affect people of any age.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a subtype of erythema multiforme bullosum that manifests as blisters and lesions on the soles of the feet, palms of the hands, and inside the mouth.
Pemphigus Foliaceus causes blistering in the skin’s upper layers, resulting in crusty, scaly erosions. As with other Bullous Diseases, this illness results in blisters, however the blisters are extremely fragile and frequently break. It is most prevalent in middle-aged individuals. Pemphigus erythematosus is a related strain of the disease that creates lesions similar to those caused by cutaneous lupus erythematosus.
Pemphigus Vulgaris is a rare but extremely severe autoimmune disorder that can be deadly. It is defined by the appearance of blisters within the skin and widespread erosions on otherwise healthy skin and mucous membranes. Often, the skin or mucous membranes will completely peel away, producing painful, raw erosions that are readily infected. Due to the disease’s attack on the mucous membranes, eating and swallowing can be extremely difficult. Unlike the blisters associated with the other Bullous Diseases listed here, pemphigus vulgaris blisters do not itch. When a considerable area of the body is covered in lesions, the individual frequently experiences significant fluid and electrolyte loss. This disorder is more prevalent in middle-aged or older adults and is extremely rare in children. Pemphigus vulgaris was typically fatal prior to the use of systemic corticosteroids. Even when the most advanced techniques are used, this ailment reacts inconsistently, if at all, to treatment. Additionally, the illness is chronic and exposes the patient to nearly certain unfavorable pharmacological effects. In all but the most modest cases, hospitalization is frequently required. Cleaning and treating open skin lesions is similar to how burn sufferers are treated.
All Bullous disorders are diagnosed with skin biopsy, and in some cases, direct immunofluorescence testing. Bullae, or blisters, are present in all of these disorders. Often, but not always, these blisters are irritating, elevated, and clustered on, in, or beneath the skin. The treatment choices are pharmacological in nature and include steroids, antibiotics, and/or immunosuppressants, all of which have the potential to create adverse effects in the patient.
With a Bullous Disease Diagnosis, Applying for Social Security Disability
Bullous Diseases are discussed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in Section 8.03 of the Blue Book. To qualify for this designation, you must have severe skin lesions that persist for at least three months despite continued medication.
When preparing to file for disability payments due to a Bullous Disease-related disability, you must gather medical documents describing the onset, length, frequency of flare-ups, and prognosis of your skin disease. Additionally, the SSA seeks information about:
the location, size, and appearance of lesions, your history of exposure to toxins, allergens, or irritants, family occurrence, seasonal variation, and stress factors, and your capacity to function outside of a highly protective environment (if applicable).
Additionally, the SSA will require laboratory reports to corroborate the diagnosis, and they may request a copy of all laboratory results, such as the results of a diagnostic biopsy. The SSA is particularly concerned with how your Bullous Disease limits and affects your everyday life, the type of therapy you are receiving, its effectiveness, how the treatment itself affects (or limits) you, and the projected length of time you will require to continue receiving treatment. When applying for disability benefits, be sure to document the extent of skin lesions by describing the locations on your body where they occur and how they hinder your ability to do daily duties. You’ll want to detail any skin blemishes that
- Interfering with joint motion and severely limiting your ability to use more than one extremity
- Being located on both palms and severely limiting your ability to perform fine and gross motor movements
- Are located on the soles of both feet, the perineum, or the groin area and severely limiting your ability to walk.
Be specific in your description of your symptoms, including pain, itching, and other discomfort. If your symptoms are intermittent, the SSA will also take into account the frequency of your skin flare-ups when deciding whether you have a severe enough impairment to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Your Disability Case for Bullous Disease
If you are disabled by a Bullous Disease that is severe enough to keep you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Collaborating closely with medical professionals and a qualified Social Security disability attorney or advocate to gather and present the necessary documentation to support your Bullous Disease disability claim before the Disability Determination Services (DDS) can help ensure that your Bullous Disease disability claim has the best possible chance of success.