- Pemphigus vulgaris—most common type of pemphigus
- Pemphigus foliaceus
- Paraneoplastic pemphigus—most serious type, usually occurs with cancer
- Family members with pemphigus
- A history of having autoimmune diseases, such as myasthenia gravis , systemic lupus erythematosus , or thymoma
- Jewish or Mediterranean descent
Regular use of certain medications:
- Chelating agents, such as penicillamine
- ACE inhibitors
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin
- Antibiotics, such as penicillin
- Antiseizures, such as phenobarbital
- Lesion that may extend deep into the skin
- Blisters that usually start in the mouth or on the scalp
- Lesions that progress to the face, neck, upper body, armpits, and groin
- Blisters which may appear in the esophagus, rectum, nose, throat, larynx (voice box), eyes, vulva, or rectum
- Red skin
- Painful, open sores
- Blisters that may expand into surrounding tissue when pressure is added to them
- An outer layer of skin to be easily rubbed off
- Soft and easily broken blisters that release fluid
- Large areas of open skin, increasing the risk of fluid imbalance and infection
- Blisters that usually heal without scarring, but may change skin color to brown
- Superficial lesions
- Blisters that itch or produce a burning sensation
- Sores that are usually not found in the mouth or on other mucus membranes
- Blisters that first show up on the face, scalp, chest, or upper back
- Open blisters, causing shallow sores
- Red skin
- Scales and crusts
- Worsening symptoms in sunlight
- Sores on mucous membranes, in the mouth, eye, and esophagus
- Blisters that appear on palms of hands and soles of feet
- Itchy or painful lesions
- Skin biopsies of the lesion and surrounding tissue
- Blood and skin tests
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- Steroids—reduce swelling and calm the immune system
- Immunosuppressive medications—decrease the strength of your immune system
- Antibiotics—treat or prevent infection
- Medicated mouthwash—for pain relief
- IV immunoglobulin—immune system elements from a healthy immune system, often given in combination a biologic antineoplastic agent
- Topical steroids, including injection into specific lesions
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. http://www.aarda.org
International Pemphigus Foundation http://www.pemphigus.org
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Beers MH, et al. The Merck Manual of Medical Information—Home Edition. 2nd ed. Simon and Schuster, Inc.; 2003.
Chams-Davatchi C, Esmaili N, et al. Randomized controlled open-label trial of four treatment regimens for pemphigus vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007;57(4):622-628.
Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. 8th ed., St. Louis: Mosby; 2006.
Goldman L. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2004.
Griffith's 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 2001 ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001.
Martin LK, Werth V, et al. Interventions for pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(1):CD006263.
Pemphigus. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease (NIAMS) website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Pemphigus/default.asp#10. Accessed December 11, 2012.
Pemphigus foliaceus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 20, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2012.
Pemphigus vulgaris. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynameds. Updated May 20, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2012.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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