What is Pemphigus ?
Pemphigus and pemphigoid are rare autoimmune blistering diseases of the skin and/or mucous membranes. Pemphigus affects the outer of the skin (epidermis) and causes lesions and blisters that are easily ruptured. Pemphigoid affects a lower layer of the skin, between the epidermis and the dermis, creating tense blisters that do not break easily. Sometimes pemphigoid may look like hives or eczema without blisters.
Pemphigus causes blisters on your skin and mucous membranes. The blisters rupture easily, leaving open sores, which may ooze and become infected.
The signs and symptoms of two common types of pemphigus are as follows:
- Pemphigus vulgaris. This type usually begins with blisters in your mouth and then on your skin or genital mucous membranes. The blisters typically are painful but don’t itch. Blisters in your mouth or throat may make it hard to swallow and eat.
- Pemphigus foliaceus. This type causes blisters on the chest, back and shoulders. The blisters tend to be more itchy than painful. Pemphigus foliaceus doesn’t cause mouth blisters.
Pemphigus is distinct from bullous pemphigoid, which is a blistering skin condition that affects older adults and may cause death.