How to Identify and Treat Pemphigus

How to Identify and Treat Pemphigus

The pemphigus is an immune disease rare and characterized by the formation of bubbles in soft tissue, which burst easily and do not heal. Typically, these blisters appear in the skin, but can also affect the mucous membranes such as the lining of the mouth, eyes, nose, throat and intimate area

According to the type and pattern of emergence of symptoms, the pemphigus can be divided into several types, which include:

  • Pemphigus vulgaris:is the most common type, where there are blisters on the skin and in the mouth. The blisters cause pain and may disappear, but, typically, are dark spots that last for several months;
  • Pemphigus bullous:arise bubbles hard and deep that do not burst easily, and is more frequent in the elderly. Learn more about this type of pemphigus;
  • Pemphigus vegetating: it is a benign form of pemphigus vulgaris, characterized by blisters on the groin, underarms or intimate area;
  • Pemphigus foliáceo:is the most common type in tropical areas, characterized by the emergence of sores or blisters, not painful, that appear first on the face and scalp, but can extend to the chest and other places;
  • Pemphigus erythematosus:is a benign form of pemphigus foliáceo, which is characterized by bubbles surface on the scalp and face, and may be confused with seborrheic dermatitis or lupus erythematosus;
  • Pemphigus paraneoplásico:is the most rare because it is associated with some types of cancer such as lymphomas or leukemias.


Although it is more frequent in adults and the elderly, the pemphigus may arise at any age. This disease is not contagious and has no cure, but treatment, done with remedies corticoids and immunosuppressive drugs, prescribed by the dermatologist may take several months or years to ensure the disease be controlled.

What can cause pemphigus

The pemphigus is caused by a change in the immune system of the person, which causes the body to produce antibodies that attack the healthy cells of the skin and mucous membranes. Although there are known factors that lead to this change, it is known that the use of some remedies for high blood pressure can cause the appearance of symptoms, which disappear when the medicine is finished.

In this way, the pemphigus is not contagious, since it is not caused by any virus or bacteria. However, if the wounds of the bubbles become infeccionadas, it is possible to transmit these bacteria to another person in direct contact with the sores, which can lead to the emergence of a skin irritation.

How is it treated


The treatment for pemphigus is normally done with the use of medications prescribed by the dermatologist, such as:

  • Corticoids, such as Prednisone or Hydrocortisone: these are used in milder cases of pemphigus to relieve the symptoms. These medicines should not be used for more than 1 week;
  • Immunosuppressants, such as Azathioprine or Mycophenolate: decrease the action of the immune system, preventing that attack healthy cells. However, to reduce the function of the immune system, there is a greater chance of infection and, therefore, these medication are used in the most serious cases;
  • Antibiotics, antifungal or antiviral: are used when some kind of infection in the wounds left by the bubbles.

The treatment is done at home and can last a few months or years, depending on the organism of the patient and the type and severity of pemphigus, and, during the treatment, should be made for regular consultations in the dermatologist to make sure that the disease is being controlled.


In more serious cases, emerging infections severe of wounds, for example, it may be necessary to stay in the hospital for a few days or weeks, to drugs directly into the vein and do proper treatment of infected wounds.

How to Identify and Treat Pemphigus 1