In autoimmune skin diseases, the immune system targets the skin with an immune attack. Whereas the immune system is meant to function with a regard for the body’s tissues as “self” and outside invaders such as bacteria or viruses as “non-self,” in autoimmune skin disease the immune system is abnormally triggered against the “self” as if it were “non-self.”
- Lupus and scleroderma are the autoimmune skin conditions that Dr. Sherber tends to see most frequently, but she sees patients with the full spectrum of autoimmune skin diseases and has conducted research in more rare conditions such as scleromyxedema.
- Accurate diagnosis is critical for effective management of autoimmune skin diseases, and Dr. Sherber works closely with dermatopathologists, rheumatologists, and other specialists as needed to ensure thorough evaluation and comprehensive multidisciplinary care for each patient.
- Topical approaches can be very helpful in quieting abnormal immune system activity in the skin, and systemic treatments may also be necessary to get to the root cause of the problem.
- The focus of the most cutting edge approaches to therapy is to avoid steroids where possible and to use novel immune modulators that don’t carry the risk of the serious side effects associated with steroids.