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Pemphigus

A severe autoimmune skin disease characterized by painful blisters.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wiktionary)

About Pemphigus

Pemphigus is a group of rare autoimmune diseases that cause blistering of the skin and mucous membranes (mouth, nose, throat, eyes, and genitals). Some forms of the disease, including the most common form, may be fatal if left untreated.

What Causes Pemphigus?

Normally, our immune system produces antibodies that attack viruses and harmful bacteria to keep us healthy. In people with pemphigus, however, the immune system mistakenly attacks the cells in the epidermis, or top layer of the skin, and the mucous membranes. The immune system produces antibodies against proteins in the skin known as desmogleins. These proteins form the glue that keeps skin cells attached and the skin intact. When desmogleins are attacked, skin cells separate from each other and fluid can collect between the layers of skin, forming blisters that do not heal. In some cases, these blisters can cover a large area of skin....Read more about Pemphigus NIH - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Interventions for pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus

This review of clinical trials aimed to find out which is the most effective and safest treatment option for pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus.

Treatment of pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus: a systematic review and meta-analysis

BACKGROUND: No optimal therapeutic approach has been established for pemphigus.

Association between HLA-DRB1 polymorphisms and pemphigus vulgaris: a meta-analysis

BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported that HLA-DRB1 may be correlated with pemphigus vulgaris (PV), but most have been based on small samples and the results remain inconsistent and unclear.

See all (7)

Summaries for consumers

Interventions for pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus

This review of clinical trials aimed to find out which is the most effective and safest treatment option for pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus.

Terms to know

Autoimmune Disease
Disease that results when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. Examples include multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Blister
A fluid-filled sac in the outer layer of skin. It can be caused by rubbing, heat, or diseases of the skin.
Desmogleins
Proteins in the cells of the skin that form the "glue" that connects adjacent skin cells, keeping the skin intact.
Epidermis
The outer layer of the two main layers of the skin.
Mucosa (Mucous Membranes)
The moist, inner lining of some organs and body cavities (such as the nose, mouth, lungs, and stomach). Glands in the mucosa make mucus (a thick, slippery fluid). Also called mucous membrane.
Skin
The outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment.

More about Pemphigus

Photo of an adult woman

See Also: Pemphigoid

Other terms to know: See all 6
Autoimmune Disease, Blister, Desmogleins

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