Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to first see your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

  • Symptoms you've been having and for how long
  • Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
  • All medications, vitamins and supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

For pemphigus, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • Do I need any tests? Do these tests require any special preparation?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • What side effects can I expect from treatment?
  • How long will it take for the blisters to heal? Will they leave scars?
  • Will the blisters come back again?
  • What can I do for the pain?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • What steps have you taken to treat this condition yourself?
  • Have any of these measures helped?
  • Have you ever been treated by a doctor for this condition?
  • If so, did you use any prescription treatments for this skin condition? If so, do you remember the name of the medication and the dosage you were prescribed?
  • Did you have a skin biopsy?
Nov. 18, 2015
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Pemphigus. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  2. Pemphigus. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/pemphigus/. Accessed Sept. 3, 2015.
  3. Martin LK, et al. Interventions for pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com/sp-3.16.0b/ovidweb.cgi. Accessed Sept. 3, 2015.
  4. Bope ET, et al. Diseases of the skin. In: Conn's Current Therapy 2015. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 3, 2015.
  5. Kasperkiewicz M, et al. Current therapy of the pemphigus group. Clinics in Dermatology. 2012;30:84.
  6. Venugopal SS, et al. Diagnosis and clinical features of pemphigus vulgaris. Dermatology Clinics. 2011;29:373.
  7. Heelan K, et al. Durable remission of pemphigus with a fixed-dose rituximab protocol. JAMA Dermatology. 2014;150:703.
  8. Patterson JW. The vesiculobullous reaction pattern. In: Weedon's Skin Pathology. 4th ed. Maryland Heights, Mo.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2016.
  9. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Pemphigus. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Sept. 9, 2015.
  10. Hertl M, et al. Management of refractory pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus. www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 3, 2015.
  11. Hertl M, et al. Initial management of pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus. ww.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 3, 2015.
  12. Saag KG, et al. Major side effects of systemic glucocorticoids. www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 8, 2015.
  13. Ferri FF. Managing pemphigus vulgaris. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016.
  14. Pemphigus vulgaris. Merck Manuals Professional Edition. www.merckmanuals.com. Accessed Sept. 9, 2015.
  15. Mustafa MB, et al. Oral mucosal manifestations of autoimmune skin diseases. Autoimmunity Reviews. 2015;14:930.
  16. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 13, 2015.