Newmarket Chiropractor Dr. Peter Lemasurier discusses Pemphigus
Pemphigus refers to a rare group of autoimmune disease that primary affects the mucous membranes and the skin. Statistics reveal that there are only 1 to 3 cases of this condition for every 100,000 population. Due to its rarity, the condition can have a life-threatening effect on those who are suffering from it. This condition is said to affect all races and has a mortality rate of 5% to 15%.
Pemphigus has several types. These types normally depend of the layer of the skin where the blister has formed and the part of the body where it occurs.
- Pemphigus vulgaris
This is the most common type of pemphigus. It accounts for around 70% of pemphigus cases. It typically occurs to individuals who are between 40 to 60 years old. This condition is characterized by limp blisters that mostly appear in the mouth. These blisters develop deep within the layers of the epidermis.
- Paraneoplastic Pemphigus
This type is a complication of Castleman’s disease or lymphoma. This is also the most severe type of the disease. Individuals who have this condition commonly experience painful sores in the lips, esophagus, and mouth. There is a possibility that they may suffer from constrictive bronchiolitis.
- Pemphigus foliaceus
This condition is often characterized by crusty sores that commonly starts in the scalp and spread to the face, chest, and back. Due to the similarities in some of the symptoms, this disease is sometimes misdiagnosed as eczema or dermatitis.
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA) pemphigus
This is characterized by circulating IgA antibodies that target the epidermis’ desmosomal proteins. Although the frequency of this disease is not yet defined, it has already been reported in South America, Asia, and Europe. Individuals who are suffering from this condition commonly have sub-acute onset of disease. It involves proximal extremities, scalp, and intertriginous areas.
Generally, the blisters in the skin are flaccid. The skin lesions can also extend easily. Aside from these, individuals may also develop blisters that have turbid fluid and nail lesions. For those who gave lesions or blisters in their mucous membranes, they may have difficulty eating and drinking. Moreover, the lesions may also cause hoarseness.
Since it is an autoimmune disease, the immune system of the body attacks the normal processes that are associated with the immunity. The system tends to develop antibodies that tend to attack the proteins that are found in the mucous membrane or the skin. As a result, the integrity of the healthy skin cells tends to break, leading to the development of blisters.
Another possible cause is medications. There are certain medications such as penicillamine and ACE inhibitors that are being associated with the occurrence of pemphigus vulgaris. Moreover, individuals who are already suffering from autoimmune disease including thymoma and myasthenia gravis are more susceptible to pemphigus vulgaris.
Diagnosis of Pemphigus
There are several ways to diagnose this condition. One is through visual examination. Basically, doctors will determine the complete medical history of the patient and conduct a physical examination. Another is through blister biopsy wherein a sample of the blister is examined for cell separation. Doctors may also perform direct immunofluorescence to identify abnormal antibodies that are responsible for attacking the skin. Enzyme-linked immuno sorbent assay (ELISA) is being used to identify anti-desmoglein antibodies in the blood sample. In some cases, doctors may perform a mucous membrane or skin biopsy to look for intraepidermal vesicle that is responsible for breaking the epidermal cells apart.
The treatment of this condition normally involves the use of corticosteroid and immunosuppressive drugs. Doctors may also recommend Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, photodynamic therapy, and anti-inflammatory agents. However, due to the side effects of these drugs, some people prefer alternative treatments such as chiropractic care.
It is believed that chiropractic care utilizing low-level laser therapy treatments is very beneficial to those who are suffering from pemphigus. However, in order to achieve the best result, individuals must choose a chiropractor or a chiropractic clinic that are known for providing the best service in the most effective manner.
In Ontario, Newmarket chiropractor Peter Lemasurier of Newmarket Laser Centre & Country Chiropractic is known for providing this quality service to residents of Newmarket and its surrounding areas including Bradford, Queensville, and Uxbridge. As a chiropractor in Newmarket, Lemasurier has already built a reputation for providing effective chiropractic treatments for various kinds of diseases.