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What causes autoimmune blistering disorders?

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When your immune system is working the way it should, it attacks bacteria and other invaders before they can make you sick. In autoimmune blistering disorders, your system mistakes healthy cells in your skin and mucous membranes for unwanted intruders.

Your immune system makes proteins called antibodies. These attack the substances that hold the outer and inner layers of skin together. The damage causes the two layers of skin to separate. Fluid collects between the two and forms blisters.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Blistering Diseases."

DermNet New Zealand: "Intravenous immunoglobulin," "Mucous membrane pemphigoid."

National Health Service: "Bullous pemphigoid."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Pemphigus."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Autoimmune Blistering Diseases."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on November 12, 2018

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Blistering Diseases."

DermNet New Zealand: "Intravenous immunoglobulin," "Mucous membrane pemphigoid."

National Health Service: "Bullous pemphigoid."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Pemphigus."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Autoimmune Blistering Diseases."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on November 12, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What can trigger the immune system to misfire in relation to autoimmune blistering disorders?

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