Ann Dermatol.  2021 Oct;33(5):467-469. 10.5021/ad.2021.33.5.467.

A Case of Newly Developed Pemphigus Foliaceus and Possible Association with Alternative Bee-Venom Therapy

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Yeouido St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


Bee-venom is composed of a variety of peptides, enzymes, and biogenic amines, and is demonstrated to have both anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulatory effects in human body. Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) is a variant of pemphigus, which is a rare autoimmune bullous disease presenting with erythematous scaly crusted plaques. Although the exact pathogenesis was not identified, there have been three case reports of autoimmune disorders associated with bee-venom. In this case, a 64-year-old female was diagnosed with PF, which was developed after alternative bee-venom acupuncture therapy. We assumed that the bee-venom caused the diseases through a temporal relationship and its known immunostimulatory action. Herein, we suggest that physicians recognize the possibility of bee-venom stimulating the immune system and triggering various autoimmune diseases including pemphigus.


Autoimmune; diseases; Bee venoms; Immunology; Pemphigus
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