Medical Definition of Epidermolysis bullosa

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018
References
Marinkovich, M.P., MD. Epidermolysis bullosa. Medscape.
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1062939-overview>