Itching is common in EB and can interfere with the ability to concentrate, work, play and sleep. There are many causes:

When possible, treat and eliminate the underlying cause of itching. Often, however, that is not possible, and one must be creative in addressing the problem.

Basic recommendations for managing itching include:

Medications are an option, as well. Consult your physician to discuss use of any medication:


When used regularly over time, antihistamines often lose their effectiveness, and higher doses may need to be given or a different one may need to be tried.

Although no clinical studies have been done with the following medications for the treatment of pruritus (itchy skin) in EB patients, they have been reported to help in some situations:

If none of the aforementioned options are effective in treating pruritus, the patient should ask his or her physician to discuss the use of alternative medications with an EB specialist. Gabapentin (neurontin), ondansetron(Zofran), thalidomide are sometimes effective in treating severe pruritus. In addition, several antidepressant medications, including amityptiline (Elavil), paroxetine (Paxil), and mirtazapine (Remeron) have been used to treat pruritus. Use of antidepressant medications in patients with EB may be very helpful in relieving not only the associated itching but may also be helpful in managing anxiety and depression. These medications should be prescribed only by physicians experienced in their use with regards to dosing, side effects, and appropriate monitoring