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
- 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
- Graft-versus-host disease of the skin
The affected areas of the skin are reddened, painful, or itchy.
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)
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.