Definition of Epidermolysis bullosa

Epidermolysis bullosa: A term that includes three types of rare, inherited blistering skin diseases. The skin is so fragile in people with epidermolysis bullosa that even minor rubbing may cause blistering, and everyday activities can be excruciatingly painful. The 3 major types of epidermolysis bullosa are

  • epidermolysis bullosa simplex,
  • junctional epidermolysis bullosa, and
  • dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.

The condition is estimated to affect about 12,500 people in the US. Affected children have been termed "butterfly children" and the condition has been referred to as "butterfly skin" or "butterfly disease" in the media due to the extreme fragility of the skin. There is no known cure for epidermolysis bullosa.

REFERENCE: Marinkovich, M.P., MD. Epidermolysis bullosa. Medscape.

Last Editorial Review: 8/17/2015

Skin Pictures Slideshow: Adult Skin Problems

Search MedTerms:

Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.