What causes epidermolysis bullosa?
EB is an inherited disease that’s passed on to a child from one or both parents. It can also appear in a patient as a new mutation that can be inherited by their children. If a child receives one normal and one gene for EB, they will be a carrier of EB, but in most cases will not develop symptoms. However, if both parents have the EB gene, their children will have a 25 to 50% (depending on the type) chance of developing EB. Parents who are close relatives have a higher chance of both having the abnormal gene.
Friction is what causes EB blisters to develop. Any trauma, no matter how small, often causes EB patients’ skin to tear and/or form blisters.
Who’s at risk for epidermolysis bullosa?
Anyone who has family members with the disease, especially one or both parents.
Are there different types of epidermolysis bullosa?
Yes, the different types are defined by the layer of skin where the blisters form. The outer layer of skin is the epidermis; the underlayer is the dermis. Between the layers, there is a “basement membrane.” Types of EB include: