The rare disease pemphigus can be difficult to diagnose since it can present with a number of more common conditions that can cause blisters. A dermatologist, who specializes in skin issues, may be recommended by your healthcare provider.

  • Physical examination: The healthcare provider will review your medical history, and will assess your mouth and skin. Additionally, they will recommend the patient will undergo test to properly diagnose the condition.
  • Skin biopsy: A blister sample is taken for this test, and it is examined under a microscope.
  • Blood tests:  These tests are utilized, to find and identify antibodies in your blood that are associated with pemphigus.
  • Endoscopy: Your healthcare provider can recommend an endoscopy if you have pemphigus vulgaris in order to look for throat sores. An endoscope, a flexible tube, is inserted down into your throat during this procedure.


Medications meant to prevent the production of blisters are typically used as the first line of treatment. Starting as early as feasible usually results in greater effectiveness. If your pemphigus was brought on by taking medication, discontinuing the use of the medication may be enough to treat it.

  • Medications: Depending on the kind and severity of your pemphigus and if you have any other medical issues, you may use any or all of the following prescription medications:
    • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroid cream may be effective to manage minor cases of the condition in certain individuals. For others, oral corticosteroids like prednisone tablets serve as the cornerstone of their care.
    • Immunosuppressant medications: Mycophenolate, azathioprine, and cyclophosphamide are examples of medications that prevent your immune system from attacking healthy tissue. They could have negative side effects as well, such an elevated risk of infection.
    • Other medications: In the event that first-line medications aren’t working for you, your heathcare provider can recommend rituximab, or intravenous immunoglobulin as an alternative.
      • Rituximab: A monoclonal antibody directed against B cells that cause issues.
      • Intravenous immunoglobulin: In order to assist lower the antibodies that lead to your diagnosis, healthy antibodies—proteins produced by your immune system to combat foreign substances—will be injected into your vein through a needle.
      • Antibiotic: Infections can occur in pemphigus blisters under certain situations. Your healthcare provider could recommend antibiotics to treat the illness if this occurs.

To verify the effectiveness of treatment, your healthcare provider will conduct regular blood and/or urine tests and monitor your condition routinely. These tests also assess any adverse effects of medications used in pemphigus treatment.

While treatment proves successful for many, full recovery may take years. Some individuals may need ongoing maintenance medication to prevent the return of symptoms. Hospitalization may be necessary for those with severe wounds or infections requiring medical care.