There are nearly 100 autoimmune diseases that affect tissues and organs. They are chronic diseases that often affect blood vessels, red blood cells, connective tissues, glands, muscles, joints, and skin. The knowledgeable, fellowship-trained dermatologists at Rochester Regional Health’s Dermatology Program have extensive knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating autoimmune skin disorders, including cutaneous lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, vasculitis, and vitiligo.
An autoimmune disorder or disease of the skin occurs when your body’s immune system cannot tell the difference between healthy tissue or a foreign substance. Your immune system is primed to respond to bacteria, harmful substances, or viruses that invade your body. When your body attacks healthy tissue that it would typically ignore, it’s having an autoimmune response.
Autoimmune diseases can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. Because your skin is so visible, we often see symptoms of autoimmune disorders on your skin first. They may include:
If you are experiencing these symptoms or are suddenly feeling fatigued, please reach out to your dermatologist for a full skin exam.
While autoimmune diseases are not curable, currently, we can help you manage flare-ups with personalized treatment options. Our providers have extensive experience in treating:
No cures currently exist for autoimmune or blistering skin diseases, but treatments are effective at slowing their progression and relieving symptoms.
During your consultation with our expert Rochester Regional Health dermatology team, your provider will consider your medical history, overall health, and preferences when recommending treatment options. We prioritize taking your opinion and life into account.
Both topical (applied directly to your skin) and oral (systemic) corticosteroids suppress your immune system and work to slow the progression of your disease. This is a great option for treating milder autoimmune disease cases.
Immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory medications work to control the inflammatory effects of your autoimmune disease while also changing your immune response. They require a prescription and physician monitoring to ensure they’re doing their job correctly.
Intravenous immunoglobulin is a purified blood product full of healthy antibodies, which can prevent or reduce the risk of infections and neutralize the damaging antibodies within your body. Repeat infusions may be required with this treatment option.
This treatment option works by targeting specific areas in your immune system to reduce inflammation. Like other treatments, it requires regular monitoring by your physician.
Whatever treatment you and your provider decide upon, you’ll be in good hands. Our dermatologists prioritize continuing education, ensuring they’re at the forefront of new treatment options and well-prepared for whatever your skin may bring.