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The International Pemphigus & Pemphigoid Foundation and Dr. Sarah Brenner recently conducted a survey on some aspects of pemphigus, in particular the gender distribution of the patients, and the relationship between the disease and the use of sex hormones.

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by Luis A. Diaz, M.D.
Professor and Chairman Department of Dermatology Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pemphigus foliaceous (PF) one of the major clinical variants of pemphigus, is characterized by superficial blisters and anti-epidermal autoantibodies. The epidermal antigen with which PF autoantibodies react is a desmosomal protein designated desmoglein 1 (dsg1). There are two forms of PF-a sporadic form which has worldwide distribution, and an endemic form, which has only been observed in certain rural areas of Brazil, Columbia and Tunisia.