Pemphigus is a group of rare, autoimmune diseases of the skin and/or mucous membranes. Auto-antibodies are produced and attack desmoglein – the “glue” of the epidermis that keeps the skin intact. When this happens, the skin cells become separated from each other. This causes burn-like lesions or blisters that do not heal. In some cases, these blisters can cover a large area of the body. It can be fatal if left untreated as the blisters spread and become infected. Early diagnosis is important and aggressive treatment strategies are often needed.
There are several different types of pemphigus including Pemphigus Vulgaris (most common), Pemphigus Foliaceus and Paraneoplastic Pemphigus (rarest).