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 effect, “overactive”, you do not want to take any medications that “boost” the immune system as they may aggravate the disease (e.g. cats claw, gingko, echinacea, etc.).  Autoimmune diseases are chronic and the course they take is often unpredictable.

Is Pemphigus contagious?


What causes Pemphigus?

There are no known causes.

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 is a genetic predisposition to Pemphigus.  Pemphigus strikes men and women equally.  Although the onset usually begins in adulthood, Pemphigus has been documented in children as young as three years old.  Some ethnic groups like Eastern European Jews and people of Mediterranean and Indian descent have a higher incidence of this disease.

Can I die from this?

Pemphigus is a life-threatening disease. If left untreated, and the blisters spread or become infected, it can be fatal.  Most of the time, Pemphigus can be controlled with proper medication.  However, there is no single treatment strategy that works for all pemphigus patients. 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.