Penn dermatologists have experience and expertise in diagnosing and treating autoimmune disorders, including cutaneous lupus, dermatomyositis, morphea/scleroderma and vasculitis.

What are Autoimmune Disorders of the Skin?

Autoimmune diseases or disorders occur when the body's immune system cannot distinguish between healthy body tissue and an antigen or foreign substance. Normally, the immune system reacts to viruses, bacteria or foreign harmful substances that invade the body. An autoimmune disease causes the body's immune response to destroy healthy body tissue by mistake or to react to healthy tissue it would normally ignore.

There are more than 80 types of known autoimmune disorders that affect organs and tissues. Autoimmune diseases are often chronic diseases that affect:

  • Blood vessels and red blood cells
  • Connective tissues
  • Glands such as the thyroid or pancreas
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Skin

Clinical Trials for Autoimmune Diseases 

Patients undergoing treatment for autoimmune diseases at Penn Dermatology may be eligible to participate in several ongoing research studies on a volunteer basis, including cutaneous lupus and dermatomyositis.

In This Section

Treatments and Procedures

Penn's Dermatologists serve on nationally recognized boards for treatments of various Autoimmune Diseases.

Treatment Teams

Penn's world renowned Dermatologists provide expert treatment for Autoimmune Disease. Browse our list of physicians.

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