A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Epidermolysis Bullosa
I had a question the other day about epidermolysis bullosa.
Epidermolysis bullosa is a group of rare diseases causing your skin to blister.
The blisters may appear in response to minor injury, heat, or friction from rubbing, scratching or adhesive tape.
In severe cases, the blisters may occur inside your body, like the lining of your mouth or intestines.
Most types of epidermolysis bullosa are inherited.
There are more than a dozen genes involved with skin formation that, if defective, may cause a type of epidermolysis bullosa.
The skin is made up of an outer layer and an underlying layer.
The area where the layers meet is called the basement membrane zone.
The type of epidermolysis bullosa you have is defined by where in these layers the blisters form.
The condition usually shows up in infancy or early childhood.
Some people don’t develop signs and symptoms until adolescence or early adulthood.
Epidermolysis bullosa has no cure, though mild forms may improve with age.
Severe forms may cause serious complications and can be fatal.
Epidermolysis bullosa signs and symptoms include:
>Fluid-filled blisters on your skin, especially on your hands and feet due to friction
>Deformity or loss of fingernails and toenails
>Internal blistering, including on your vocal cords, esophagus and upper airway
>Skin thickening on your palms and soles of your feet
>Scalp blistering, scarring and hair loss
>Tiny white skin bumps or pimples
>Dental problems, like tooth decay from poorly formed enamel
Epidermolysis bullosa blisters may not appear until a toddler first begins to walk or until an older child begins new physical activities triggering more intense friction on the feet.
Centers specializing in diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of people with epidermolysis bullosa may belong to a network called EB Clinet.
These centers are staffed with doctors, nurses, social workers and rehabilitation specialists who provide specialized care for people with this condition.
You can minimize the risk of your child developing new blisters by:
>Lifting or touching your child only very gently
>Keeping your home consistently cool
>Keeping your child’s skin moist with lubricants
>Dressing your child only in soft materials
>Keeping your child’s fingernails short
Treatment aims to prevent complications and ease the pain of the blisters with appropriate wound care.
Careful wound care and good nutrition are essential.
To deal with epidermolysis bullosa it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells, thins mucus, and flushes toxins.
*Aloe vera gel, ginkgo biloba extract, and green tea extract have antioxidant properties that can aid in healing.
*Calendula, chamomile, elderflower, and tea tree oil can be used externally as a soothing wash.
*Soak a washcloth in malva tea and apply it as a warm compress.
*Oat straw may be used in a bath to reduce symptoms.
*Olive leaf extract has healing properties for the skin.
*Soak a clean cloth in cool water (or, for even greater soothing effect, in cooled comfrey tea), wring it out, and apply it to the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure as often as necessary for relief. (Comfrey is recommended for external use only.)
*Use hypoallergenic skin care products, soaps, hair products, household products, and laundry detergents. Also look for “fragrance-free” formulas rather than “unscented” ones.
*Wear cool, loose clothing. Next to the skin, cotton is best.
*Avoid prolonged contact with known skin irritants including chemicals, dust, direct sunlight, and water.
*Consider food and environmental allergy testing to identify possible aggravating factors.
*Eating fruits and vegetables is particularly important.
*Include in the diet brown rice, garlic, raw fruits and vegetables, and 100% whole grains.
*Decrease excessive sun exposure.
*Decrease exposure to chlorinated shower/bath water, pools and hot tubs.
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