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Pemphigus Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Pemphigus is a group of chronic autoimmune skin diseases with blister formations in the outer layer of the skin and mucous membranes. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Pemphigus vulgaris begins with blister formations (bullae) occurring in the mouth and on the scalp. The blisters are soft and are easily broken. The blistering can also affect the esophagus, rectum, nose or the lining of the eyelids. These bullae heal without scarring.

Pemphigus vulgaris predominately occurs in middle-aged patients of Jewish or Mediterranean descent. It is sometimes associated with other autoimmune diseases, such as myasthenia gravis and systemic lupus.

Diagnosis of an autoimmune bullous disease should be suspect when other causes are unlikely, for example when there is no history of exposure to a drug or a contact allergen or when other studies for infectious origins, such as herpes or impetigo, are negative. To differentiate these diseases, a careful history and physical examination are important. A skin biopsy is often helpful.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all automimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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