Pemphigoid is a group of rare, autoimmune blistering diseases. There are two major forms – Bullous Pemphigoid and Cicatricial Pemphigoid also known as “mucosal membrane pemphigoid”. The type of pemphigoid one has depends on which antibodies are produced and in which layer of the skin blisters occur.
Bullous Pemphigoid patients have itching that may be painful with blisters appearing mostly on the abdomen, back, arms and legs. Cicatricial Pemphigoid lesions usually occur on mucous membrane surfaces. The gums are commonly affected and eye epithelium (cornea and conjunctiva) is affected in up to one third of cases.
Pemphigoid is usually seen in the elderly. If left untreated, bullous pemphigoid can result in life-threatening infections from open areas of the skin where the blisters break. Cicatricial pemphigoid can result in blindness if it involves the eyes, respiratory compromise if it involves the deeper parts of the throat and infections from where the blisters leave areas of open skin.