Pemphigus is a rare group of autoimmune diseases. It causes blisters on the skin and mucous membranes throughout the body. It can affect the mouth, nose, throat, eyes, and genitals. Pemphigus vulgaris is the most common type of pemphigus.
Pemphigus vulgaris is not fully understood. Experts believe that it’s triggered when a person who has a genetic tendency to get this condition comes into contact with an environmental trigger, such as a chemical or a drug. In some cases, pemphigus vulgaris will go away once the trigger is removed.
The condition causes the immune system to fight against the body’s own cells in the same way that it fights off invading germs.
With pemphigus vulgaris, the immune system looks for proteins that bind the cells of the skin. This causes a buildup of fluid between the skin cells, resulting in blisters. Experts believe that the condition fights healthy proteins.
Pemphigus vulgaris often starts in the mouth. Symptoms include:
Certain ethnic groups are more prone to this condition. This includes people of eastern European Jewish and Mediterranean descent.
You may need to see a dermatologist to diagnose and treat this condition. Your healthcare provider visit may include:
These are common treatments for pemphigus vulgaris:
Follow up. This condition may return, even after successful treatment. Go to all follow-up appointments.
It can take 2 to 5 years or even longer to treat this condition. Also, treatments may have serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider about possible side effects and how to manage them.
Blisters may be painful. They may heal and leave dark patches on the skin for months. Most people with pemphigus vulgaris feel better with treatment. Without treatment, the condition can lead to severe pain and infection.
Call your healthcare provider if you notice painful, soft blistering on your skin or mucous membranes. Treatment will prevent the blisters from spreading and getting worse.
Some people find that stress and certain foods, such as garlic, make living with pemphigus vulgaris more difficult. This may be true even during treatment. Pay attention to what helps you feel better and what seems to make symptoms worse.
Pemphigus is a rare group of autoimmune diseases that causes blisters on the skin and mucous membranes throughout the body. It can affect the mouth, nose, throat, eyes, and genitals.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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