An uncommon, serious skin disease in which a number of blisters develop on the skin and in the mouth. Pemphigus mainly affects people between the age of 40 and 60. The blisters often develop in the mouth, then spread to the skin. They rupture to form raw areas that can become infected and later crust over. Skin that seems unaffected can also blister after gentle pressure is applied. If a big area of the body is affected by the disease, there can be severe skin loss which can lead to bacterial infection and, sometimes, death.
The diagnosis is confirmed by skin biopsy. Treatment of pemphigus is with a long term course of corticosteroid drugs and, in certain cases, with immunosuppressants. Antibiotics can also be given.