Pemphigus vulgaris is a rare autoimmune disease that is characterised by blisters and erosions on the skin and mucous membranes.
Pemphigus vulgaris is an autoimmune blistering disease, which basically means that an individual's immune system starts reacting against his or her own tissue.
In pemphigus vulgaris immunoglobulin (IgG) auto antibodies bind to a protein called desmoglein 3 present in desmosomes a cementing structure between 2 cells, the result is the keratinocytes (the building block cells of epidermis) separate from each other, and are replaced by fluid, the blister.
Who suffers? :
Pemphigus vulgaris affects people of all races, age and sex. It appears most commonly between the ages of 50-60 years.
Symptoms of Pemphigus vulgaris
The following are some of the symptoms of Pemphigus vulgaris:
Most patients first present with lesions on the mucous membranes such as the mouth and genitals. Several months' later blisters on the skin may develop or in some cases mucosal lesions are the only manifestation of the disease.
The most common mucosal area affected is the mouth but others include the conjunctiva, oesophagus, labia, vagina, cervix, penis, urethra and anus. Common features of oral mucosal pemphigus include:
• 50-70% of patients get oral lesions
• blistering superficial and often appears as erosions
• widespread involvement in the mouth
• painful and slow to heal
• may spread to the larynx causing hoarseness when talking
• may make it difficult to eat or drink
Skin lesions appear as thin walled flaccid blisters filled with clear fluid that easily rupture causing painful erosions. Erosions in the skin folds may develop into vegetative lesions which are granular and crusty looking (known as pemphigus vegetans).
• Skin biopsy (rounded-up separated keratinocytes (called acantholytic cells) within the blisters just above the basal layer of the epidermis.)
• Direct immunofluorescence staining of the skin biopsy sections to reveal antibodies.
• blood test (indirect immunofluorescence test) for circulating antibodies
Homeopathic treatment for Pemphigus vulgaris
The primary aim of treatment is to decrease blister formation, prevent infections and promote healing of blisters and erosions.
Appropriate wound care is particularly important, as this should promote healing of blisters and erosions.
Patients should minimize activities that may traumatise the skin and mucous membranes during active phases of the disease. These include activities such as contact sports and eating or drinking food that may irritate or damage the inside of the mouth (spicy, acidic, hard and crunchy foods).
They are not a cured for the disease but improve the patient's quality of life by reducing disease activity. Unfortunately higher doses of corticosteroids may result in serious side effects and risks
At optimal therapy patients may still continue to experience mild disease activity.
Treated cases on Pemphigus vulgaris