CAUSES OF PEMPHIGUS VULGARIS
Pemphigus vulgaris is an autoimmune disease.
This means that the immune system mistakenly develops antibodies which attack proteins in the body desmogleins.
These desmogleins hold the cells in the skin and mucous membrane together. As a result of the attack, blisters and sores develop on the skin over the body as well as inside the mouth, nose and genital organs.
SYMPTOMS OF PEMPHIGUS VULGARIS
Symptoms of pemphigus vulgaris include:
1. Flaccid blisters which can develop on normal skin or on erythematous (red) skin
2. Oral erosions which make eating painful. These may precede the skin lesion by up to 5 months.
TREATMENT OF PEMPHIGUS VULGARIS
The treatment of pemphigus vulgaris involves the use of:
1. Corticosteroids which reduce the harmful effects of the immune system. Examples include prednisone
2. Immunosuppresants which subdue the effects of the immune system. Examples include azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil.
Other medications like dapsone, colchicine and rituximab which targets B cells.
SELF HELP FOR PEMPHIGUS VULGARIS
1. If you have wounds in your mouth as a result of the pemphigus vulgaris you should:
a. Avoid eating spicy, salty and acidic foods
b. Take a painkiller before brushing your teeth
c. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles
d. Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing your teeth