Pemphigus vulgaris is an autoimmune disorder that involves blistering of the skin and mucous membranes. It occurs almost exclusively in middle-aged or older people. Many cases begin with blisters in the mouth, followed by skin blisters that may come and go. In most cases, the exact cause of pemphigus vulgaris is unknown. It has rarely been observed in multiple members of the same family. Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and preventing complications. Severe cases are treated similarly to severe burns.
Pemphigus vulgaris is an autoimmune disorder. The immune system produces antibodies against specific proteins in the skin and mucous membranes. These antibodies create a reaction that cause skin cells to separate.
Although it is rare, some cases of pemphigus vulgaris are caused by certain medications. Medications that may cause this condition include:
Pemphigus is not contagious. It does not spread from person to person. Though there can be a genetic predisposition to develop pemphigus, there is no indication the disease is hereditary.
Research helps us better understand diseases and can lead to advances in diagnosis and treatment. This section provides resources to help you learn about medical research and ways to get involved.
Nonprofit support and advocacy groups bring together patients, families, medical professionals, and researchers. These groups often raise awareness, provide support, and develop patient-centered information. Many are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct people to research, resources, and services. Many groups also have experts who serve as medical advisors. Visit their website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD. Suggest an organization to add.
Living with a genetic or rare disease can impact the daily lives of patients and families. These resources can help families navigate various aspects of living with a rare disease.
These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.
Questions sent to GARD may be posted here if the information could be helpful to others. We remove all identifying information when posting a question to protect your privacy. If you do not want your question posted, please let us know. Submit a new question
I was diagnosed with pemphigus vulgaris in 2004 at the age of 54. Is this disease something that I have had all of my life? Was it just in remission until I got older? See answer