It's not possible to prevent epidermolysis bullosa. But you can take steps to help prevent blisters and infection, for you or your child.

  • Handle your child gently. Your infant or child needs your touch, but be very gentle. To pick up your child, place him or her on soft material, such as cotton, and support under the buttocks and behind the neck. Don't lift your child from under his or her arms.
  • Take special care with the diaper area. If your child wears diapers, remove the elastic bands and avoid cleansing wipes. Line the diaper with a nonstick dressing or spread it with a thick layer of zinc oxide paste.
  • Moderate the temperature in your home. Set your thermostat so that your home remains cool and the temperature remains steady.
  • Keep the skin moist. Gently apply lubricants, such as petroleum jelly.
  • Dress yourself or your child in soft materials. Use clothing that's simple to get on and off. Try sewing foam pads into the lining of clothing by elbows, knees and other pressure points. Use soft special shoes, if possible.
  • Prevent scratching. Trim fingernails regularly. Consider putting mittens on your infant at bedtime to help prevent scratching. This helps prevent infection.
  • Have your child refrain from rough activities. Prevent older children from participating in contact sports or other activities in which skin can be rubbed or injured easily. For mild forms, simple measures such as placing your child in long pants and sleeves for outdoor activities can be helpful.
  • Take care when dressing blisters. Don't apply adhesive bandages or tape to the skin. Be vigilant when medical procedures are performed to assure that tape is not used. By protecting blisters from breaking, you help prevent infection and fluid loss.
  • Avoid hard surfaces and rough materials. Use sheepskin or other soft material on car seats and infant seats. Use a water or air mattress on your child's bed and soft sheets and blankets.
  • Provide good nutrition. A varied, nutritious diet promotes growth and development in children and helps wounds heal. Consider using vitamins and supplements — such as calcium, iron and vitamin D — to help prevent complications.
Aug. 22, 2014

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