What is an autoimmune disease?

Our immune system protects us from infection and disease. However, if you have an autoimmune disease the antibodies that your immune system produces to fight off bacteria, viruses etc., are attacking the body’s own cells by mistake.  As the immune system is in fact “over-active”, you do not want to take any medications that “boost” the immune system as these may aggravate the disease (e.g. cats claw, gingko, echinacea, etc.).  Autoimmune diseases are chronic and the course they take is often unpredictable.

Is Pemphigoid contagious?


Is there a cure or are they getting close to a cure?

No. At the moment, there is no cure for either pemphigus or pemphigoid. There are a number of treatment strategies available that can help patients get into remission.

What is remission?

Remission is defined as a state in which a patient has had no lesions while off all therapies for at least two months.

Why me?

There is no answer for this one.  It is not a genetic disorder but researchers believe that there may be a genetic predisposition to pemphigoid.  Pemphigoid strikes men and women equally and is most often seen in the elderly, but can be seen at any age.  Unlike pemphigus, some forms of pemphigoid may “burn out” after a few years.

Can I die from this?

Some forms of pemphigoid can be life-threatening, especially if they involve the airway or if lesions become infected.  Other forms of pemphigoid can cause visual loss (e.g. ocular pemphigoid) if untreated.   It is important to get diagnosed as soon as possible and work with your dermatologist or other healthcare provider to find the best course of treatment for you.