How is Epidermolysis Bullosa treated?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for epidermolysis bullosa currently. Treatment centers on wound care and managing other symptoms of EB. It is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating EB. A patient might need all of these approaches, or just a few:
- Frequent bandaging in order to keep blisters clean and protected is a very essential and important aspect of EB care. Some blisters might also need to be lanced (popped open) and drained.
- Medication may be used to treat pain and itching associated with EB.
- Soaking in baths with bleach or pool salt can also be comforting for patients with EB.
- In the event of trouble swallowing and esophageal blistering/scarring, a procedure called a dilatation might be considered in order to widen the esophagus. If the patient is unable to gain weight, a gastrostomy tube can be considered in order for the patient to receive adequate nutrition.
- Surgery can also improve deformities of the hands.
- Physical and occupational therapy are encouraged to help maintain range of motion and to work out modifications for daily-life activities.
Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for your child’s EB treatment?
Children's Colorado offers the only center in the region for babies, kids and teens with epidermolysis bullosa. Our specially trained and experienced clinicians provide the delicate, individualized care that kids require. Patients typically participate in physical and occupational therapies to address issues of mobility, equipment needs, feeding and hand function.
The epidermolysis bullosa clinic
We know that no two cases of EB are the same. We offer a multidisciplinary clinic, available once every month, where patients see clinical staff from various departments of Children’s Colorado, including dermatology, pediatrics, nutrition, physical therapy, occupational therapy, anesthesia and social work. In addition, consultation with dentistry, pain management, psychiatry, gastroenterology and other specialists is available, depending on the patient’s needs.
Decisions regarding pain management during procedures and exams are made with the family and the EB team to determine what is best for each child. Patients have access to anesthesia services and a pain management team to minimize pain for procedures and exams, and a full-time EB nurse who assists with in-hospital dressing changes. The clinic also provides a valuable opportunity for parents to network and talk to other parents of affected children.
Following each clinic, the EB team will coordinate care and formalize recommendations to aid your child’s primary care provider. A full report is generated after each visit.
Winter adventure camp
Each year the EB clinic sponsors a winter adventure camp (Camp Spirit) for children with recessive dystrophic EB. The camp is held in Winter Park, Colorado, where the campers ski in bi-skis, learn to drive a dog sled, ride snow mobiles and see wildlife. Campers also get to participate in engaging evening activities. For more information about the Winter Adventure Camp, please contact the Dermatology Clinic at 720-777-8445.