Pemphigus vulgaris is a chronic blistering skin disease with skin lesions that may initially be pruritic, but invariably become painful. It is classified as a type II hypersensitivity reaction, with the formation of anti-desmosome antibodies that lead to separation of the dermis from the epidermis. Over time, the clinical picture is one of inevitable progression of the disease, with lesions increasing in size and distribution throughout the body, behaving physiologically like a severe burn. Before the advent of modern treatments, mortality for the disease was close to 90%.
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