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Brain & Nervous System Health Center

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It is possible that the main title of the report Pemphigus is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • drug-induced pemphigus
  • endemic pemphigus (fogo selvagem)
  • pemphigus erythematosus (Senear-Usher syndrome)
  • pemphigus foliaceus
  • pemphigus vegetans
  • pemphigus vulgaris

General Discussion

Pemphigus is a general term for a group of rare autoimmune blistering skin disorders. Autoimmune disorders occur when the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. The symptoms and severity associated with the various forms of pemphigus vary. All forms of pemphigus are characterized by the development of blistering eruptions on the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). In pemphigus vulgaris, lesions also develop on the mucous membranes such as those lining the inside the mouth. Mucous membranes are the thin, moist coverings of many of the body's internal surfaces. If left untreated, pemphigus will usually be fatal. The exact cause of pemphigus is unknown.

The term pemphigus is a general term for a group of related autoimmune blistering skin diseases. The two main types of pemphigus are pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus. Each type has subtypes. Additional disorders are sometimes classified as pemphigus including paraneoplastic pemphigus and pemphigus IgA. Some physicians consider these disorders similar, yet distinct, autoimmune blistering disorders with different causes and clinical, immunological and microscopic tissue (histological) features. Pemphigoid is a general term for a different group of skin disorders. These other disorders are discussed in the related disorders section of this report.


American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
TDD: (301)565-2966

International Pemphigus & Pemphigoid Foundation
2701 Cottage Way
Suite 16
Sacramento, CA 95825
Tel: (916)922-1298
Fax: (916)922-1458

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

Autoimmune Information Network, Inc.
PO Box 4121
Brick, NJ 08723
Fax: (732)543-7285

AutoImmunity Community

Australasian Blistering Diseases Foundation
St. George Hospital,
Department of Dermatology
Gray Street
Sydney, NSW 2217
Tel: 0291132088
Fax: 0291132886

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 11/15/2012
Copyright 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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