Pemphigoid - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Pemphigoid is a rare autoimmune disorder- a condition in which your body attacks its own healthy cells and damages them. During an autoimmune reaction, your body perceives its own part as a foreign particle and launches an immune response against it. Pemphigoid causes blisters on the abdomen, legs, and arms. It can also develop during pregnancy or on taking certain medications. Until now, there is no cure for it but, it can be managed through symptomatic treatment.  It can occur at any age but is more common in the elderly. 


Types of Pemphigoid 


Pemphigoid occurs due to autoimmune reactions. It can be classified on the basis of part of the body where blistering occurs. 


Bullous pemphigoid- it is a type in which blistering occurs in the arms and legs- places which move. Therefore it can also occur in the area around the joints and on the lower abdomen. 


Cicatricial pemphigoid- also known as mucous membrane pemphigoid, is a type of pemphigoid which occurs on the mucous membrane. 


Therefore, it can include;


  • mouth

  • eyes

  • nose

  • throat

  • genitals


It most commonly involves the eyes and the mouth. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts. And if it is left untreated on the eyes, it can cause scarring, leading to blindness eventually. 


Pemphigoid gestationis- previously known as herpes gestationis, is a type of pemphigoid which occurs during or soon after delivery. Mostly it occurs during the second or third trimester. But it can occur at any time of pregnancy. Even it can occur within six weeks of delivery, causing blisters on the arm and leg. 



Symptoms 


The characteristic symptom of pemphigoid is a blistering rash, that can occur anywhere on the body. But most commonly, it involves;


  • Arms

  • Legs

  • Mucous membrane 

  • Abdomen


The blistering rash of pemphigoid may have the following characteristic;


  • The occurrence of red rash before the blisters

  • Blisters are large in size and are filled with fluid that is usually clear.

  • Sometimes the blisters may contain some blood.

  • Blisters become thick 

  • Blisters do not rupture easily.

  • The skin around the blisters may appear normal.

  • Sometimes the skin around blisters may appear slightly red or dark.

  • Blisters that rupture become sensitive and painful.


Causes


Pemphigoid is a rare autoimmune disorder- a condition in which your own body attacks healthy cells and damages them. During an autoimmune reaction, your body perceives its own part as a foreign particle and launches an immune response against it. In pemphigoid, your body produces antibodies against the outer layer of your skin and releases them, causing blistering of the mucus membrane, eventually. Mostly, there is no such trigger for it. But sometimes it can be triggered by;


  • certain medications

  • radiation therapy

  • ultraviolet light therapy


People living with some other autoimmune disease are at more risk of developing pemphigoid. It is more common among the elderly, and women are more at risk of getting it. 


Treatment 


Until now, there is no such treatment. Since it is an autoimmune disorder, it can be managed by using immunosuppressants like corticosteroids that help calm down the hyperactive immune system. 


Conclusion 


Pemphigoid is a rare autoimmune disorder- a condition in which your own body attacks healthy cells and damages them. During an autoimmune reaction, your body perceives its own part as a foreign particle and launches an immune response against it. It can occur at any age but is more common in the elderly. Pemphigoid causes blisters on the abdomen, legs, and arms. It can also develop during pregnancy or on taking certain medications. Until now, there is no cure for it but, it can be managed through symptomatic treatment.


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