Pemphigus is an autoimmune disorder. If you have it, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your skin and mouth, causing blisters and sores. No one knows the cause. Pemphigus does not spread from person to person. It does not appear to be inherited. But some people's genes put them more at risk for pemphigus.
Pemphigoid is also an autoimmune skin disease. It leads to deep blisters that do not break easily. Pemphigoid is most common in older adults and may be fatal for older, sick patients.
Doctors diagnose pemphigus with a physical exam, a biopsy, and blood tests. The treatment of pemphigus and pemphigoid is the same: one or more medicines to control symptoms. These may include
- Steroids, which reduce inflammation
- Drugs that suppress the immune system response
- Antibiotics to treat associated infections
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Diagnosis and Tests
- Tips for Getting a Proper Diagnosis of an Autoimmune Disease (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association) - PDF - "Tips for Getting a Proper Diagnosis of an Autoimmune Disease" PDF
- Genetics Home Reference: benign chronic pemphigus (National Library of Medicine)
- Pemphigus Vulgaris (Logical Images)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- American Academy of Dermatology
- Find a Dermatologist (American Academy of Dermatology)
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Available in Spanish