Little effective therapy is available for epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), despite considerable knowledge of the basic disease defects. Recently, we observed that tetracycline treatment in 2 patients with EBS produced substantial improvement.
In 1995, we saw a 36-year-old white man with EBS, Dowling-Meara type, for follow-up examination and treatment of acne. One of us (R.W.P.) had observed him since 1962; the diagnosis was confirmed by electron microscopy (Figure 1). The patient's condition had improved with time, and he was applying only bacitracin zinc and polymyxin B sulfate (Polysporin; Glaxo Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, NC) ointment to erosions and 2.5% hydrocortisone cream to erythematous areas. Examination revealed scattered erosions and multiple bullae on the feet and hands, with many coalescing erosions on the inner thighs, surrounded by reticulated hyperpigmentation. Multiple acne papules were present on the chest and back.
Malkinson FD, Retief CR, Pearson RW. Two Familial Cases of Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex Successfully Treated With Tetracycline. Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(8):997-998. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-135-8-dlt0899