Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Call your doctor if your baby or child develops unexplained blisters. Mention right away if your baby or child has any signs of infection around a blister, such as pus, redness, increasing pain or warm skin. In some cases, your doctor may recommend immediate medical care.
After examining your child, your doctor may refer you to a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions (dermatologist).
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
- Write down any signs and symptoms your child has been experiencing, and for how long.
- Note any new sources of friction around the blistering areas, if any. For example, tell your doctor if your toddler has recently started walking or your older child has begun physical activities that put new pressure on the affected areas.
- Write down key medical information, including other medical problems with which your baby or child has been diagnosed. Also list the names of all over-the-counter and prescription medications your child is taking, as well as any vitamins or supplements.
- Ask a trusted family member or friend to join you for your child's appointment. If your child is diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa, you may have difficulty focusing on anything the doctor says after making the diagnosis. Take someone along who can offer emotional support and can help you recall all the information.
- Write down the questions you want to be sure to ask your doctor.
For epidermolysis bullosa, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my child's signs and symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes for these symptoms?
- What kinds of tests does my child need?
- Are treatments available for this condition?
- What can be done to relieve my child's pain or discomfort?
- How do I take care of my child's needs, such as feeding, bathing and clothing him or her?
- What are the possible complications of this condition?
- What signs or symptoms related to this condition should prompt me to call you?
- What signs or symptoms should prompt me to call 911 or my local emergency number?
- What restrictions does my child need to follow?
- Do you expect my child's symptoms will improve with age?
- If I plan to have more children in the future, are they at increased risk of this condition?
- How can I find other families who are coping with epidermolysis bullosa?
- Where can I find additional information and resources?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in-depth. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you first notice blistering on your child?
- What parts of your child's body have been affected?
- Does anything in particular seem to trigger blistering? For example, is it made worse by heat?
- Has your child developed sores where bandages or adhesive tape has been applied?
- Has your child had any signs or symptoms in addition to blistering?
- Does eating or swallowing seem to cause your child pain?
- Has your child's cry or voice sounded hoarse?
- Has anyone in your family had a condition marked by significant blistering?
- Has your child been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
What you can do in the meantime
In the time leading up to your appointment, you can minimize the risk of your child developing new blisters by:
- Lifting or touching your child only very gently
- Keeping your home consistently cool
- Keeping your child's skin moist with lubricants, such as petroleum jelly
- Dressing your child only in soft materials
- Keeping your child's fingernails short
Call your doctor immediately if you see signs of possible infection around a blister.
- Epidermolysis bullosa. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Epidermolysis_Bullosa/default.asp. Accessed June 9, 2011.
- Fine JD, et al. The classification of inherited epidermolysis bullosa (EB): Report of the third international consensus meeting on diagnosis and classification of EB. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2008;58:931.
- Fine JD. Inherited epidermolysis bullosa: Recent basic and clinical advances. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2010;22:453.
- Habif TP. Vesicular and bullous diseases. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00025-0--s0780&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=240601062-5#4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00025-0--s0780. Accessed June 8, 2011.
- About EB. Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association. http://www.debra.org/abouteb. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Progress in epidermolysis bullosa research: Toward treatment and cure. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2010;130:1778.
- Healthcare problems. Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association. http://www.debra.org/healthcare. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Hand JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 15, 2011.