In many ways, wound care for EB is an individualized process. Individuals have their own preferences for bathing, ointments, and bandaging.
There are some general principles, however, with regard to wound care that are important for all persons with EB:
- Blister management: Each care provider should become familiar with the procedure for draining blisters, which reduces pain and helps to prevent blisters from enlarging.
- Topical ointments: There are a variety of different ointments that may be used, including white petrolatum, Aquaphor, and zinc oxide.
- Medicated ointments: Ointments such as Mupirocin, Bacitracin, and Polysporin® should in general be reserved for wounds that appear to be infected.
- Bathing: In addition to water, the use of pool salts, bleach, or vinegar (acetic acid) may be recommended to soothe the skin or prevent infection.
- Bandages: There are many different types and brands of dressings, including contact layers, foams, and rolled gauze. Specific types of dressings may be required for different types of wounds. Caregivers usually try many different products before finding a small number they prefer.
- Itching: This is a common complaint among people with EB. There are many causes, and the treatment depends on the cause.
- Infection: Unfortunately, infection is common in EB. Mild infections may require only the use of topical antibiotics and/or bleach or vinegar (acetic acid) soaks; more severe infections may require the use oral or intravenous antibiotics.