Pemphigus vulgaris

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Pemphiguses are rare diseases of autoimmune origin, i.e. due to the fighting of antibodies against an organism's own cells. These diseases affect the skin and mucous membranes. Pemphigus vulgaris is one of the diseases regrouped in the category of autoimmune dermatoses, the most common form being bullous pemphigoid, with bubbles of varying sizes appearing on the skin.


It is usually in the mucous membranes, especially those of the mouth, that the first lesions of bullous appear. These blisters, which may also affect the palate and gums, will burst and then give way to painful erosions that hinder food intake. The damage can also be done in the genital, rectal and esophageal mucosa. Then, skin lesions appear in the form of bubbles appearing to contain liquid, which evolve to give way to skin erosions giving the impression of broken skin.


The diagnosis can be made, in case of doubt, through a biopsy one of the "bubbles". Different techniques are used to highlight features of the antibodies responsible for the disease.


Being autoimmune disease, pemphigus cannot heal itself and must necessarily receive treatment. Pemphigus is usually treated over several years, with corticosteroid tablets, sometimes associated with immunosuppressive treatments to decrease the action of autoantibodies. Doses of corticosteroids are gradually reduced. Though healing is long and sometimes not evident, keep in mind that this was once a deadly disease.