Introduction: Autoimmune bullous diseases (AIBD) are a heterogeneous group of rare autoantibody-mediated blistering dermatoses of the skin and/or mucous membranes. Their incidence is around 20 new cases per million inhabitants per year in Germany. Patients with chronic, oncological, or rare diseases often urge for a holistic therapeutic approach that includes complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). So far, only few contradictory reports on CAM in pemphigoid or pemphigus disease exist. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency, motives, and satisfaction with the use of alternative treatments in patients with AIBD and to provide a basis for further investigation. Methods: We used a structured online questionnaire, consisting of 20 questions to survey patients with AIBD and their relatives. The German pemphigus and pemphigoid self-help groups were responsible for distributing anonymized questionnaires. In total, we recovered 97 questionnaires, 63 of which met full inclusion criteria (24 males and 39 females). Results: Of the included participants, more than half had a currently active disease. Of all patients, 58.7% stated that they had used CAM at least once. Women were more likely to use CAM, whereas age and education showed no association to CAM use. The main motives for using CAM were “doing something for oneself” and “opportunity to contribute to treatment” (38.1% each). The internet (23.8%) was the most common source of information, and vitamins were the most frequently used therapy (49.2%). Conclusion: Our results provide new insights into the demand for CAM within this rare disease patient group. Physicians should be aware of these methods to meet patient needs but also be able to identify potential barriers such as risks and interactions.

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