Diseases and Conditions

Epidermolysis bullosa

Lifestyle and home remedies

You can take steps at home to care for blisters and prevent new ones from forming. Learn how to care for wounds and provide good nutrition, which are essential to people with epidermolysis bullosa.

Caring for blisters

Your doctor can show you how to care for blisters properly and advise you on ways to prevent them. Talk to your doctor about safe ways to break and drain blisters before they get too large. Your doctor can also recommend products to help keep the affected areas moist, which helps promote heling and prevent infection.

In general, take these steps:

  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands before touching your child's blisters or changing dressings.
  • Control pain. About 30 minutes before a dressing change or other painful procedure, older children and adults may take a prescription-strength pain medication. For people who don't respond to pain relievers, other options include anti-seizure drugs such as gabapentin and pregabalin.
  • Cleanse skin daily. To cleanse a wound, soak it for five to 10 minutes in a mild solution of salt and water. Other options are mild solutions of diluted vinegar or bleach. Soaking loosens stuck bandages and helps reduce the pain of changing bandages. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Puncture new blisters. This prevents them from spreading. Use a sterile needle to puncture each new blister in two spots. But leave the roof of the blister intact to allow for drainage while protecting the underlying skin.
  • Apply treated dressings. Spread petroleum jelly or other moisturizing substance on a nonstick bandage (Mepilex, Telfa, Vaseline gauze). Then gently place the bandage on the wound. Secure the pad with rolled gauze if needed.
  • Wrap blistered hands and feet daily. With some severe forms of this condition, daily wraps help prevent contractures and fusion of the fingers and toes. Special wraps and gauze dressings are useful for this treatment.
  • Watch for signs of infection. If you notice redness, heat, pus or a red line leading from the blister, talk with your doctor about prescription antibiotics.
  • Keep cool. Blistering is often worsened by heat and warm conditions.

Providing good nutrition

A varied, nutritious diet promotes growth and development in children and helps wounds heal. If blisters in the mouth or throat make it difficult for your child to eat, here are some suggestions:

  • For babies, try bottle nipples designed for premature infants, a syringe or a rubber-tipped medicine dropper.
  • For older children, serve nutritious, soft foods that are easy to swallow, such as vegetable soup and fruit smoothies. Puree solid foods with broth or milk.
  • Serve food and beverages lukewarm, at room temperature or cold.
  • Talk with a dietitian or doctor about using supplements to minimize nutrient and vitamin deficiencies.