How is pemphigus diagnosed?
Some skin diseases are alike, and more than one has symptoms of blistering. An accurate diagnosis by a dermatologist is important. Diagnosis for pemphigus when you visit Clear Skin London would include:
- A physical exam of your blisters and sores by our dermatologist Harley street London. In the course of the examination, you will be asked questions regarding your past health, and what treatment and medication you take presently, and before the examination. This is because some medicines could either cause or worsen a case of pemphigus. We recommend you bring along a list of all medicines, including those bought over the counter, or without a prescription.
- A skin biopsy comes next. This could be easily performed at our dermatology clinic London. Our dermatologist will remove part of a new blister, and a sample of healthy-looking skin around the blister. Both of these will be compared under a microscope in a laboratory.
- A blood test will be well required to find what proteins present in your blood could cause pemphigus.
If you are diagnosed with pemphigus after the examination at our dermatology clinic London, you will need treatment. Without treatment, pemphigus worsens and could be life-threatening. Treatment can be carried out by professional dermatologists London when you visit Clear Skin London. Call 020 71833648, or walk into our dermatology clinic in Harley Street London
Can pemphigus be cured?
Pemphigus cannot be cured. Proper treatment will ensure the symptoms are controlled. Treatment reduces the occurrence of blisters and the clearing of sores. If treatment is undertaken when the pemphigus is still mild, it could be prevented from worsening and becoming life-threatening.
What is the treatment plan for pemphigus?
The following treatment will be undertaken when you visit our dermatology clinic here in London:
- In the case of mild pemphigus, a corticosteroid will be prescribed to you by our dermatologist London for application on the affected skin. If more severe pemphigus is present, stronger medicine such as prednisone or methylprednisolone might be needed instead. A treatment of corticosteroid can clear the blisters and sores.
- Next, immunosuppressant medication is applied to suppress the immune system and keep it from attacking the healthy cells. Either medication of azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil could be used to stop your body from creating new blisters.
- A more recent treatment is biologics. Modern scientists have discovered the biologic rituximab, which is at the moment showing good promises in the treatment of pemphigus. But while rituximab and some other biologics may today appear to offer a safe option for the treatment of pemphigus, there is not enough research in the treatment of pemphigus with biologics to know what long-term side effects it could bring about, and who could benefit from it. So at present, we would recommend only the use of the corticosteroid and azathioprine to quiet the attack of the body’s immune system on healthy cells
- In the presence of an infection, antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals will be included in the treatment.
- To heal and cover the blisters and sores, the wound will be bathed and properly dressed.
In cases of severe pemphigus, the sores and blisters may remain untreated even after the application of prednisone and the other medications mentioned above. In such cases, our dermatologist may recommend alternative treatment options to you. They could include:
- A medical treatment termed plasmapheresis. In this treatment, plasma is removed from your blood. Plasma is a very important component of the blood and contains the blood proteins which cause your immune system to attack your skin and the moist tissues lining your mouth and other parts of your body. During this treatment, blood is donated by a matching donor, and new healthy plasma is introduced into your blood to replace your plasma.
- Extracorporeal photochemotherapy is another treatment option, beginning with the removal of blood from your body. The blood is subsequently treated with a medicine called psoralen and exposed to UVA light, which kills off diseased white blood cells. The blood that is being treated is then returned to your body after the removal of the diseased white blood cells. This treatment takes just two days; you can be discharged on the day treatment is concluded.
- The sores result in the loss of much fluid from the body, and an IV may be prescribed to replace lost fluids. Liquid nutrition could be provided through the IV, as the sores could make it extremely difficult to eat if sores are present in the mouth or throat.
What is the outcome of treatment for someone with pemphigus?
Treatment of Pemphigus has progressed over the years. Before the use of prednisone and azathioprine in the treatment of pemphigus, patients of pemphigus Vulgaris had an average lifespan of 5 years. Modern treatments have ensured the disease can be controlled. Some people find they can stop treatment altogether after a while — very few people at present die from pemphigus.
Some other problems may still come about after treatment. Some medications used in the treatment of pemphigus may bring serious side effects. Where the blisters and sores affect your eyes, a visit to an eye doctor may be required. Also, we recommend you see a doctor who specialises in the ears, nose, and throat, for help in pemphigus.
Serious weight loss is another problem that pemphigus can cause.
These problems can be managed with help from a dermatologist and other doctors. Contact Clear Skin London on 020 71833648 to book an appointment with our dermatologist.
What tips can be recommended for managing pemphigus:
- New blisters could cause new injuries, and worsen the Pemphigus. So avoid any cut or injury to your skin.
- Take medications as prescribed by a dermatologist, as the use of some medication can heighten the chances of getting an infection. The medication treats the Pemphigus by suppressing the immune system, and so the body is unable to fight off new infections.
- Keep all wounds and cuts clean.
- Be patient, pemphigus is controllable with proper treatment, but this treatment could take time.
- Stress worsens the symptoms of pemphigus, so stay calm when possible — work on controlling stress, and continuing medication.
- Take care of mouth sores by avoiding all hard foods, including chips, nuts and hard fruits. Soft foods are preferable. Keep away from spicy foods, steaming-hot foods, and all acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, as these can bring about the spread of new sores in the mouth. Orange juice, spicy drinks, coffee and hot tea, can irritate your mouth and cause new sores.
- Practice good oral hygiene to decrease the spread of sores and blisters. Get your dermatologist London to recommend a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash that are least likely to irritate the sores and cause you pain.
- Visit an experienced dermatologist, so that new blisters are not formed in the treatment of Pemphigus.
- If the pain in your mouth is extremely uncomfortable, ask for a painkiller from the dermatologist to ease the pain.
- If you develop an eye problem due to Pemphigus, make sure to inform your dermatologist. In certain Pemphigus, blisters form on the tissue lining of the eyelids. These blisters cause some people to develop pink eyes with lots of mucus in it, and many find filling in the front of their eyes. Pemphigus could increase the sensitivity of your eyes to light, making it uncomfortable to see in bright places.
How can you manage Pemphigus if it affects your eyes?
- Keep contact away from the Pemphigus, so avoid wearing contact lenses, and wear glasses.
- Protect your eyes from various bright light by wearing sunglasses. It eases the sensitivity in your eyes.
- Have your dermatologist recommend a doctor for your eye, and follow the treatment plan prescribed for your eyes.
- If you have been diagnosed with pemphigus foliaceous or drug-induced pemphigus, keep your eyes away from sun and heat, as they could cause the blisters to spread, even to areas of once healthy skin.
Join a support group. Share your experiences with others who have pemphigus. Contact us at Clear Skin London, First floor, 117A Harley St, Marylebone, London W1G 6AT, UK. Call 020 71833648, and we can recommend a health coach, or a support group or a treatment support group.
Make an appointment with Clearskin London. Our dermatologists can help you find a treatment that works for your pemphigus. We can assist you also in the management of any side effects that might arise from the treatment of your Pemphigus also. To begin your treatment today, call 020 71833648.