Pemphigus

Introduction:

Pemphigus Vulgaris is a serious skin disease. Relatively, it is a rare disease, which is characterized by formation of blisters and erosions of the skin and mucus membranes. The blisters are often called as bulla or bullae, which are filled with thin, watery fluid; which eventually burst, slough off and lead to sore spots. It can affect mouth, genitals and any part of skin. It is most commonly observed in middle-aged or older people. It is a chronic and recurring disease. It is not a contagious disease; does not spread by touch or air.

Causes:

Pemphigus is understood to be an auto-immune disease; though, the exact cause remains ill-understood. IN pemphigus, body’s immune system fails to recognize body’s own protein called desmoglein protein, and reacts in the form of severe inflammation, blister formation, pain and soreness.

01 Autoimmunity – Pemphigus Vulgaris is an autoimmune disease.

02 It can be the result of prolonged use of certain medications like Penicillamine (antibiotic), Blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors and Chelating agents. Usually, this variety of pemphigus tends to recover in most cases on stopping the medicines.

Pathology:

Autoimmunity is the process in which body produces antibodies against normal cells and proteins of the body. In case of Pemphigus Vulgaris, body’s immune system produces antibodies against specific proteins called desmogleins in the skin and mucus membranes. These proteins bind skin cells together. Antibodies, which are formed against these proteins, break the bonds between skin cells. This pathology leads to formation of blisters.

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Symptoms:

Most commonly affected areas are mouth, scalp and trunk.

  • Painful blisters and sores in the mouth, followed by blisters on skin.
  • Peeling of skin
  • Crust formation

Diagnosis:

  • It is best diagnosed clinically by an experienced eye.
  • Nikolsky’s sign – When the surface of unaffected area is rubbed with finger or cotton, the skin separates easily. This is called as positive Nikolsky’s sign.
  • Skin or oral biopsy – It shows intra-epidermal vesicle caused by breaking of epidermal cells.
  • ELISA test – Anti Desmoglein antibodies can be detected in the blood using this test.

Treatment Options for Pemphigus Vulgaris

Conventional treatment:

It includes use of following medicines.

  • Cortisone
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Immunosuppressant

Homeopathic Treatment:

Homeopathy aims at addressing the underlying process and after effect of auto-immune activity. The results with homeopathy may not be as drastic and quick as probably with the use of cortisone. However, homeopathy is strongly indicated in most cases of pemphigus as a support measure, which helps not only to manage the disease better, but also helps to reduce the dependency of cortisone.

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