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EB Acquisita (EBA)

EB Acquisita (EBA)

EB Acquisita (EBA)

EB Acquisita (EBA) is the rarest type of Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a painful skin condition causing the skin to tear or blister at the slightest touch. Most types of EB are caused by gene mutations which affect different layers of the skin and sometimes internal organs. However, EB Acquisita is classified as an autoimmune disease whereby the body starts to attack its own healthy body tissue.

What causes EBA?

EBA is the only type of EB not to be hereditary. It is extremely rare and the specific cause is not known but it does tend to develop in adulthood. It is thought that immune proteins mistakenly attack healthy collagen – the skin protein which binds the skin together.

Symptoms of EBA

EBA is very rare and is usually mild to moderate. Blistering tends to affect the hands, knees, knuckles, elbows and ankles the most. The prognosis is dependent on the whether there is any underlying problem but a normal life expectancy is possible and a range of treatments  are available to help with symptoms. EBA tends to be more common in people with other autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s and Lupus.

Researchers have identified 3 types of EBA, broadly categorised by Inflammatory and non-inflammatory types:

  • Classic or Non-Inflammatory EBA - causing skin blistering mostly on the hands, knees, knuckles, elbows, ankles and mucous membrane areas (an area of the body lined with a membrane such as mouth, throat, eyes & stomach). Scarring can occur or white spots (milia) form.
  • Generalized Inflammatory EBA – widespread blistering, redness and itching, healing with minimal scarring.
  • Mucous Membrane Inflammatory EBA - blistering of the mucous membrane with possible significant scarring.

Treatments

There is currently no cure for EB, our work at DEBRA aims to change this. With EBA, treatment is mostly focused on the use of immunosuppressive medication. However, there are treatments available which help with the management of pain and itch.

We fund research projects aiming to find additional treatments as well as a cure, and our Community Support Team are always here to help patients and families deal with the challenges that EB brings.

Support

If you or your family member have been diagnosed with EB Acquisita, you can contact our Community Support Team for additional support. Our team aim to support the whole EB community regardless of the type or severity, we have a range of practical, emotional and financial support options. Find out more about how we can help people living with EB here

Find out more about other types of EB