Background  Reactive oxygen species play a key role in the development of many dermatological disorders.

Objective  The purpose of this study is to examine the lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and antioxidative profile in Tunisian pemphigus foliaceus (PF) patients.

Methods  Malondialdehyde (MDA), conjugated dienes (CD), protein thiol levels, catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were evaluated in skin biopsies of 13 patients compared to biopsies of 7 healthy controls.

Results  Oxidative stress was confirmed in these three types of patient biopsies as compared to controls. Thus, MDA, CD levels and catalase CAT and SOD activities were significantly increased in lesional, perilesional and normal biopsies of PF patients than in those of control subjects. Protein oxidative was confirmed by lower levels of protein thiols in lesional, perilesional and normal biopsies than in control’s biopsies. Otherwise, in patients, a significant rise of these biomarkers was observed in lesional and perilesional biopsies compared with normal biopsies.

Conclusion  This study shows that oxidative stress could be involved in the pathogenesis of PF by the spread of skin lesions and/or by the increase in auto-antibodies’ reactivity.