Epidermolysis Bullosa Treatment

Treatment varies depending on the severity of the disease. Most treatment of epidermolysis bullosa involves preventing trauma and friction, and controlling secondary infections. Large blisters and erosions should be treated with gentle local wound care, such as with petroleum jelly, gauze, and ointments. Vitamin supplements are recommended, particularly if nutrition is compromised. Oral hygiene is important. Plastic surgery can be performed to relieve severe mitten-like deformities and to restore function of the fingers and toes.

Future therapy developments may address the causes of these diseases, such as with protein or gene therapy. Protein therapy may seek to replace a missing protein, resulting in a repaired skin structure. In gene therapy, a normal gene may be delivered, resulting in proper expression of all the skin proteins and a normal skin strength.

Epidermolysis Bullosa Prevention

The disease cannot be prevented because it is inherited. Prevention of secondary bacterial or fungal infections generally focuses on preventing trauma and friction.

Prenatal diagnosis of epidermolysis bullosa in affected families is best assessed by chorionic villus sampling (CVS). This is akin to sampling a placental membrane and can be done as early as 8 to 10 weeks of gestation. Affected adults should discuss the likelihood of genetic inheritance and the risk of passing it on to one's children.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Aug 2000

Last Modified: 02 Sep 2015