Overview of Pemphigus

Pemphigus Meaning in Urdu

اس بیماری کی وجہ سے جِلد پر، منہ، ناک، اور گلے کے اندر چھالے نمودار ہو سکتے ہیں۔ اس کے علاوہ اعضائے مخصوصہ پر بھی چھالے بن سکتے ہیں۔ جب مدافعتی نظام غلطی سے جِلد کی اوپر والی تہہ میں موجود سیلز پر حملہ آور ہوتا ہے تو یہ بیماری لاحق ہوتی ہے۔ یہ بیماری مردوں کی نسبت خواتین میں زیادہ ہوتی ہے، اس کے ساتھ ساتھ طبی ماہرین کا خیال ہے کہ جینز کی وجہ سے بھی اس بیماری کے خطرات میں اضافہ ہو جاتا ہے۔ کئی مرتبہ اینٹی بائیوٹکس اور بلڈ پریشر کی ادویات استعمال کرنے سے بھی یہ بیماری لاحق ہو سکتی ہے۔


Pemphigus is a group of autoimmune disorders that affect the skin and mucous membranes. In pemphigus, the immune system mistakenly attacks proteins that hold skin cells together, leading to the formation of blisters and erosions on the skin and in the mouth, nose, throat, eyes, and genitals.

Prevalence of Pemphigus:

Pemphigus is a rare condition. Every year, 1 to 5 out of every 1 million people may get Pemphigus worldwide. It can affect anyone but is most common in ages 40 to 60. Women get Pemphigus more commonly than men.

Signs and Symptoms of Pemphigus

The symptoms of pemphigus may vary depending on the type and severity of the condition, but the most common symptoms include;

  • Painful blisters or sores on the skin, mouth, nose, throat, eyes, and genitals
  • Redness and inflammation around the blisters or sores
  • Itching or burning sensation in the affected areas
  • Crusting or scabbing of the skin
  • Hair loss or thinning in the affected areas
  • Difficulty eating, drinking or swallowing due to mouth and throat sores
  • Fever and fatigue

In some cases, the blisters or sores may be the only symptom of pemphigus, while in others, there may be additional symptoms such as joint pain, muscle weakness, or respiratory problems. 

Types of Pemphigus

There are several types of pemphigus, including:

  1. Pemphigus Vulgaris: This is the most common type of pemphigus, accounting for about 80% of cases. It typically affects middle-aged and older adults and can cause painful blisters and sores in the mouth, throat, and genitals, as well as on the skin.
  2. Pemphigus Foliaceous: This type of pemphigus is less common than pemphigus vulgaris and typically causes superficial blisters occurring on the skin's surface rather than in the mouth and throat.
  3. Paraneoplastic Pemphigus: It is a rare type associated with underlying cancer, such as lymphoma or leukemia. It typically causes severe blistering of the skin and mucous membranes and other symptoms like fever, weight loss, and difficulty breathing.
  4. IgA Pemphigus: This is a rare type of pemphigus that is caused by the buildup of an antibody called IgA in the skin and mucous membranes. It typically causes small, itchy blisters on the skin.
  5. Drug-induced Pemphigus: Some medications, such as penicillamine, can cause pemphigus-like symptoms. This type of pemphigus usually goes away once the medication is stopped.

Causes of Pemphigus

The exact cause of pemphigus is not known, but several factors may contribute to its development, including:

  • Genetic factors: Certain genetic variations may increase the risk of developing pemphigus.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environmental triggers, such as drugs, infections, or chemicals, may trigger an autoimmune response and lead to pemphigus.
  • Hormonal factors: Pemphigus may be more common in women than in men, and hormonal changes may play a role in its development.
  • Age: Pemphigus typically occurs in middle-aged and older adults, although it can occur at any age.
  • Other autoimmune disorders: People with other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, may be at increased risk of developing pemphigus.

It is important to note that pemphigus is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. If you suspect you have pemphigus, seek medical attention from a dermatologist or a specialist in skin disorders. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to manage the symptoms and prevent complications.


Risk Factors of Pemphigus

Some of the risk factors for pemphigus include:

  • Age: Pemphigus can occur at any age, but it is more common in middle-aged or older adults.
  • Gender: Pemphigus is more common in women than in men.
  • Genetics: Pemphigus can run in families, and there may be a genetic predisposition to the condition.
  • Ethnicity: Pemphigus is more common in people of Jewish, Mediterranean, or Indian descent.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to certain medications or environmental factors, such as radiation or ultraviolet light, may increase the risk of developing pemphigus.
  • Other autoimmune diseases: People with autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, may be at increased risk of developing pemphigus.
  • Stress: Emotional or physical stress may trigger pemphigus or exacerbate existing symptoms.

It's important to note that having one or more of these risk factors does not necessarily mean that someone will develop pemphigus. If you are concerned about your risk for pemphigus, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider.

Complications of Pemphigus:

Pemphigus is a serious autoimmune disease that can cause significant complications, including:

  • Infection: The blistering and open sores that occur with pemphigus can increase the risk of bacterial or viral infections, which can be severe and potentially life-threatening.
  • Dehydration: The blistering and open sores that occur with pemphigus can cause significant fluid loss and dehydration, especially if the blisters are located in the mouth or throat.
  • Malnutrition: The painful blisters and sores that occur with pemphigus can make it difficult to eat and drink, leading to malnutrition and weight loss.
  • Scarring: Pemphigus can cause scarring, particularly in the areas where blisters have occurred.
  • Eye damage: In some cases, pemphigus can affect the eyes, causing irritation, dryness, and potentially serious complications such as corneal ulcers and scarring.
  • Neurological complications: Rarely, pemphigus can cause neurological complications, such as seizures or myasthenia gravis, which is a condition that causes muscle weakness and fatigue.

It is important to seek prompt medical treatment if you suspect you may have pemphigus or are experiencing any symptoms. With proper treatment, many of these complications can be prevented or minimized.



Pemphigus is a rare autoimmune disease that is difficult to prevent. However, some steps may help to reduce the risk of developing pemphigus or manage the symptoms:

  • Avoid exposure to environmental triggers: People at risk of pemphigus may want to avoid exposure to certain medications, ultraviolet light, or other environmental triggers that can exacerbate symptoms.
  • Practice good skin hygiene: Keeping the skin clean and well-moisturized may help to prevent skin irritation and inflammation that can trigger pemphigus.
  • Manage stress: Stress triggers autoimmune diseases, including pemphigus. Managing stress through techniques like mindfulness, meditation, or therapy may help reduce the risk of developing pemphigus.
  • Get vaccinated: Vaccinations can help to prevent infections that can trigger autoimmune diseases like pemphigus. Talk to your healthcare provider about which vaccinations are appropriate for you.
  • Seek early treatment: If you experience any symptoms of pemphigus, such as blisters or sores on the skin or mucous membranes, seek early treatment to prevent complications.

It's important to note that these steps may not completely prevent pemphigus, as the exact cause of the condition is not fully understood. If you are concerned about your risk of developing pemphigus, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider.



Here are some of the steps involved in making a diagnosis of Pemphigus:

  • Physical examination: A healthcare provider will examine the skin and mucous membranes to look for characteristic signs of pemphigus, such as blisters, erosions, and crusting.
  • Skin biopsy: In a skin biopsy, a small piece of skin from a blister or an erosion is removed and examined under a microscope to confirm the presence of pemphigus. The biopsy can also help to determine the type of pemphigus and the severity of the disease.
  • Immunofluorescence testing: This test involves examining skin tissue under a microscope to look for antibodies involved in developing pemphigus.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests can look for antibodies that are associated with pemphigus, as well as to assess organ function and detect any underlying autoimmune conditions.
  • Other tests: In some cases, other tests can rule out other conditions that can cause skin blistering.

It's important to note that diagnosing pemphigus can be complex and may require consultation with a dermatologist or an autoimmune disease specialist. If you are experiencing symptoms of pemphigus, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Treatment of Pemphigus | When to Consult a Doctor

Pemphigus requires long-term management. Treatment typically involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes to control symptoms and prevent complications. Here are some of the common treatments for pemphigus:

  • Corticosteroids: These medications are a first-line treatment for pemphigus. They work by suppressing the immune system and reducing inflammation. Corticosteroids are typically given orally, but in severe cases, they may be given intravenously.
  • Immunosuppressants: These medications, such as azathioprine or mycophenolate, work by suppressing the immune system to prevent it from attacking healthy tissue. They are often used in combination with corticosteroids to reduce the dose and duration of corticosteroid therapy.
  • Biologic therapies: These medications, such as rituximab or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), target specific components of the immune system to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms.
  • Topical treatments: Topical corticosteroids or other medications can treat skin lesions and help control itching.
  • Lifestyle changes: Managing stress, avoiding environmental triggers, and maintaining good skin hygiene may help to reduce symptoms and prevent complications.

It's important to note that the treatment of pemphigus may need to be adjusted over time based on the severity of symptoms and the response to treatment. In addition, long-term use of corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive medications can have significant side effects, so it's important to work closely with a Dermatologist to monitor symptoms and manage treatment.