Epidermolysis bullosa (ep-ih-dur-MOL-uh-sis buhl-LO-sah) is a group of skin conditions whose hallmark is blistering in response to minor injury, heat, or friction from rubbing, scratching or adhesive tape. Four main types of epidermolysis bullosa exist, with numerous subtypes. Most are inherited.

Most types of epidermolysis bullosa initially affect infants and young children, although some people with mild forms of the condition don't develop signs and symptoms until adolescence or early adulthood. Mild forms of epidermolysis bullosa may improve with age, but severe forms may cause serious complications and can be fatal.

There's currently no cure for epidermolysis bullosa. For now, treatment focuses on addressing the symptoms, including pain prevention, wound prevention, infection and severe itching that occurs with continuous wound healing.

Sep. 27, 2011