Overview of Pemphigus

Pemphigus of the skin and mucous membranes is a chronic blistering disease most commonly found in middle-aged persons.

There are three major types of pemphigus:

  • Vulgaris (literally meaning common)
  • Foliaceus (featuring superficial blisters)
  • Paraneoplastic (associated with some cancers)

Pemphigus is an autoimmune disorder in which the skin cells are attacked by the patient's own antibodies (immune proteins). This causes a separation between the layers of skin in which fluid subsequently accumulates, producing blisters. The introduction of corticosteroids in recent decades has turned what often had been a fatal disease into one that can be managed quite well.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Aug 2001

Last Modified: 02 Sep 2015