Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune disorders are diseases produced by the body’s own immune or defense system. This occurs through the high quantity production of various substances involved in combating foreign substances (e.g. bacteria, viruses, and other foreign proteins). This excess production of certain substances injures the cells of the individual defense system and upsets the “healthy” equilibrium of the body.


Symptoms affected organs

Autoimmune diseases manifest themselves in many ways:

  • Cutaneous diseases: bullous disorders (medical terminology: pemphigus, pemphigoid, epidermis bullosa acquisita, and more)
  •  Inflammation of cutaneous vessels (medical terminology: vasculitis)
  • Joint syndromes: these are called skin disorders of the rheumatoid type (medical terminology: lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, dermatomyositis, and others)
  • Graft-versus-host disease of the skin


The affected areas of the skin are reddened, painful, or itchy.


Diagnosis

Treatment

  • External treatment of the affected skin areas with creams, gels (corticosteroids, preparations to protect against UV radiation or topicals for wound care)

  • Oral medications to reduce excess production of trigger substances:
    - Corticosteroids, methotrexate, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, Immunoglobulin, extracorporeal photopheresis
    - General measures (counseling regarding avoidance of disease precipitants as well as the adjusting of life style according to disease activity)



Collaboration

We work closely with the Department of Immunology, University Hospital Zurich, for interdisciplinary cross-specialty discussion of difficult cases in order to determine optimal therapeutic management for affected patients.

Patienten Organizations

Sclerodermia:


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