Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a group of inherited conditions where the skin, or mucous membranes (the lining of the mouth, gut, or eyes, for example), blister with only mild trauma, friction or even spontaneously.
It is not gender or ethnicity specific.
The genetic errors in EB result in defects in the skin proteins, because one or more of the proteins that stick the outer and deeper layers of skin together are either faulty or missing.
Over the past 15-20 years, 20 known causative genes have been found with thousands of mutations. Additional modifier genes affect severity and symptoms.
EB is not a single condition: the various types are divided into four main groups according to the depth below the skin surface at which the blisters occur:
- EB Simplex (EBS), defects in keratins 5 and 14, or plectin proteins
- Junctional EB (JEB), defects in laminins and plectin
- Dystrophic EB (DEB), defects in collagen 7 protein; Dominant dystrophic and Recessive dystrophic.
- Kindler Syndrome, mutations in the FERMT1 gene disrupting kindlin-1 protein production.