Diseases Diseases

The Rarest Autoimmune Skin Diseases

Published at 03/29/2012 18:08:00


One of the most persistent categories of skin disorders in existence, autoimmune skin diseases are well known for the havoc they wreak on a person’s physical and mental well-being. Since time began, human beings have been subject to various diseases, and autoimmune skin diseases are not an exception to this rule. Autoimmune diseases not only affect the skin, they can also impact other parts of the body such as the muscles and joints. Such diseases are known to occur when the immunity system, which is normally the system’s bodyguard against infections and external attacks, turns on itself by mistake. This is a dangerous state of affairs as it means that the programming of the body’s immune system has gone haywire.


Science has long pondered the reasons why these diseases develop, and methods to control their spread. A plethora of reasons exists for the development of autoimmune skin diseases. The reasons range from exposure to certain chemicals or components, genetically acquired conditions, and so on.
The common autoimmune skin diseases that have been documented so far include scleroderma, dermatomyotisis, and psoriasis.Scleroderma is one of the most common autoimmune skin diseases affecting more than a lakh people in the USA alone, as per the estimates of the Scleroderma Foundation. Psoriasis is also a common disorder which sometimes has genetic causes. In its most common form it is characterized by scaly, sometimes red, patches on the skin.


While different treatments exist for these common kinds of autoimmune skin diseases it is the more unusual ones that are still shrouded in mystery. Pemphigus is a disease of the skin in which the antibodies meant to protect the skin against bacterial and viral invasions confuse the body’s own cells with the enemy cells. This causes the antibodies to attack the skin cells itself, causing symptoms such as blisters to spread across different parts of the body and mouth. Another skin disease that is seen rarely but can be a source of extreme pain is Epidermolysis Bullosa Acquista. Most autoimmune skin diseases need to be treated following certain very specialized treatment regimens. Simple ointments or over-the-counter medicines are not the kind of treatment doctors usually follow when it comes to these rare autoimmune skin diseases. Since it is the immune system of the body that has gone into attack mode against itself, the immune system is the key focus of the treatment.

Tips and comments

Most of the drugs that are used to treat autoimmune skin diseases tend to suppress the activities of the immune system. This is an extremely dangerous way to proceed as the immune system is the body’s natural guard against all sorts of external attacks by bacteria, virus, and other foreign microorganisms. When the immune system is artificially suppressed with the help of medicines, these external agents get a good opportunity to enter the body and launch new attacks. This is why only doctors with specialized skills and expertise can undertake treatment for such diseases.

The world today is looking for more safe and innovative ways to tackle autoimmune skin diseases.