What is butterfly skin?

Butterflyskin is an anomaly suffered by a human being, it has another scientific name that unlike other skin problems, is known asepidermolysis bullosaof lethal type.

This causes a failure between the junction of theepidermisand thedermis (the important layers of the skin), where the tissues end up separating abruptly.

As a result, the skin becomes incredibly sensitive, this means that any small rubbing, such as rubbing against a thick cloth of clothing, will create blisters, infection and evenskinningin the patient, causing evenchronic wounds. The skin is considered as a wet napkin.

Important: A study determines that “Epidermolysis bullosa comprises a heterogeneous group of bullous diseases of the skin and mucous membranes, are of congenital and hereditary origin. Their classification can become complex, but not with the diagnosis”(1).

Causes of butterfly skin

Note: Butterflies are mostly hereditary , where one parent has the disease and there is at least a 50% chance that the baby will be born with this abnormality.

It can also occur by Recessive Inheritance , where both parents carry a diseased genethat transmits the butterfly skin disease, there is a greater risk of the infant suffering from the anomaly. In fact, many families suffer from fear of this anomaly.

Butterfly skin symptoms

Fragile and thin skin

The skin of patients with Epidermolysis bullosa, or butterfly skin, is considered to be quite weak, fragile, and vulnerable. As if it were a glass or a completely wet napkin. It is also delicate toTemperatures and sudden movements .

Curious fact: An extensive study mentions that “This is a disease with a very low prevalence. Therefore, it is part of those known as “rare diseases”. Globally, it is estimated that it affects 2 out of every 100,000 people . (3)

Blisters in the mouth, throat and scalp

As it is a disease that affects the entire human body, it is usual that due to friction, different temperatures or movements, Blistersare generated in many parts of the body. As well as chronic wound and organ damage.

That includes the scalp, although the hair can protect it, the skin remains sensitive to any touch. It is difficult to take care of yourself with it since it generates successive wounds.

Thick skin on hands and feet

Although the skin is sensitive , and since other parts of the body, such as the soles of the feet or hands, are also affected, it becomes quite thick, which gives the appearance that the skin in these areas , it is quite dry as if it were the texture of a rock.


This is because the layers, like the dermis, are not strong enough to hold the hair and develop it.

itching and pain

It is usual to feel very itchy, a result of the hypersensitivity to which the skin is exposed on a daily basis.

In the same way, a lot of painis felt, especially due to the movements that are made daily: moving, running, lying down or stretching. It reaches a point that affects every minute of everyday life.


Butterfly skin also affects the internal organs , due to having insecure skin, it is more risky to contract diseases and microorganisms.

In this sense, dysphagiais one of the consequences of butterfly skin, it is the difficulty of swallowing and digesting food. This can occur due to closure of theesophagus as a result of epidermolysis bullosa.

Important: Thanks to a study, it is known that “The problem of esophagus, stomach and internal wounds generally occurs inRecessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa . (4)


Butterfly skin affects any mucosal wall , that includes those inside the mouth, which in addition to hindering the process of swallowing and digesting, also causes the appearance of sudden cavities , even if good Oral hygiene is maintained .

Butterfly Skin Types

Although butterfly skin may sound or seem quite serious, it is correct to mention that there are different degrees, or different types of epidermolysis bullosa. Here we list the 3 main types:


This is characterized because the blisters that are caused on the skinare not serious, since they heal without a great loss of tissue. This can be treated without so much demand, without affecting the daily life of a person

Important : It is confirmed that this type of epidermolysis is the least serious and is the most common, representing 70% of the vast majority of existing cases. (5)


This type is characterized by blisters or wounds , which are generated inside the basement membrane (the matrix that separates the membranes from the tissue).

This is the least common and is considered the most serious, however its degrees can vary, from being moderate to being lethal.


In the latter, the blisters and damage are generated deep within the basement membranetag. these heal, impede the movement of joints, due to the restrictions that are caused in them, and the wounds stick a lot to the skin.

It is the best known for being a lethal type. The vast majority are lucky not to suffer from this degree.

butterfly skin treatment

Butterfly skin does not have a specific cure. Fortunately, due to these times, where diseases such asCovid 19 are very dangerous, there are numerous Special treatments , so that people who suffer from this disease are able to have a fairly bearable life.

In addition, it requires a lot of social security towards patients. Also the help of families. Therefore, these are some of the treatments:

Special wound care

The skin must be cared for with Special utensilsand nothing thick. This is in casechronic injuries are caused by small friction or by exposure to High temperatures .

Note: Great news was given in 2015, where it was approved that health centers deliver the necessary material to make the bandages and cures that these patients need to be able to perform tasks of daily life. (6)

skin hydration

The skin must be carefully hydrated, since the skin’s water levels will be balanced. If the patient has more delicate areas than others, they will be protected by proper hydration .

Tip: Baby oil can be a great option to consider, as long as it is recommended by a specialist.

Reconstructive Surgeries

People with Epidermolysis bullosa can opt for Reconstructive Surgeries, although they are not mandatory and require full consent, they may be necessary in severe cases. See, retractions or amputations that are a consequence of abnormal healing.

Intravenous Iron

As the butterfly skin causes contractions in the digestive system , intravenous solutions are direct and efficient, iron is important in the body.

Vitamin D supplement

These supplements are recommended for adults, those who have difficulty consuming or are deficient in vitamin D.

This can cause bone pain or muscle pain, which is why vitamin D-rich foods and supplements should be opted for , with a doctor’s prescription.

Mother cells

The possibility of transplantation or injection of stem cells is being studied a lot as a form of treatment against Epidermolysis bullosa , an enzyme that has a characteristic resistance to this type of anomaly.

This is because stem cells can divide in the system and create any type of cell you can think of, as well as repair and regenerate tissue, especially in diseased organs. This gives hope for a cure.

Key Conclusions

  • Butterfly skin or epidermolysis bullosa is a serious but rare disease.
  • There are institutions that provide information and support such as the Debra Association.
  • It is characterized by extremely fragile skin.
  • Its only cause currently is by dominant and recessive inheritance.
  • There are 3 types, it can be mild, moderate or very lethal.
  • There are many treatments and special care in hospitals for those who suffer from the disease.
  • Care must be carried out in a mandatory, safe and responsible manner. In addition to social security.

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