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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Epidermolysis bullosa simplex


Epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) is one of the major forms of epidermolysis bullosa, a group of genetic conditions that cause the skin to be very fragile and to blister easily. EBS is classified into two groups of subtypes by the layer of skin at which the peeling originates. The basal subtypes cause skin peeling at the lower layers of the epidermis. The most common basal subtypes include EBS localized, Dowling Meara EBS, Generalized other EBS and EBS with muscular dystrophy. More rarely seen basal subtypes include EBS with mottled pigmentation, EBS with pyloic atreseia, EBS Ogna, and EBS circinate migratory.The suprabasal subtypes cause skin peeling at the upper layers of the epidermis and include the rare forms known as Lethal acantolythic EB, Plakophilin deficiency, and EBS superficialis (EBSS). [1] Symptoms of EBS range from mild in the Weber-Cockayne type to severe with blistering that is present at birth or after. Milder phenotypes of EBS have blistering confined to the limbs, whereas in the most severe Dowling Meara type, blisters may also form in the mouth. All of the types are typically caused by mutations in the KRT5 and KRT14 genes. They are usually inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, but autosomal recessive inheritance has occurred in rare cases.[2] Treatment plans differ depending on severity but typically focus on preventing formation of blisters, caring for blistered skin, and treating infection.[3]
Last updated: 7/22/2011


  1. Fine JD. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases (OJRD). May 2010; Accessed 7/6/2011.
  2. Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex. Genetics Home Reference. April 2007; Accessed 1/19/2011.
  3. Epidermolysis Bullosa. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). 2013;
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Basic Information

  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Epidermolysis bullosa simplex. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Epidermolysis bullosa simplex. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Epidermolysis bullosa intraepidermic
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