Topical diacerein for epidermolysis bullosa: a randomized controlled pilot study

Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2013 May 7;8:69. doi: 10.1186/1750-1172-8-69.


Blistering in epidermolysis bullosa simplex type Dowling-Meara (EBS-DM) is associated with an inflammatory phenotype, which can be disrupted by diacerein in vitro. In this pilot study we hypothesized, that a topical formulation of diacerein 1% reduces blistering. Five patients initially applied diacerein underneath both armpits. Then, each participant received 1% diacerein-cream for one armpit, and placebo for the other (randomized withdrawal). The number of blisters was reduced significantly (left: -78%; right: -66% of baseline) within two weeks and remained significantly below the initial level even during withdrawal in four patients. These findings point to a relevant effect of diacerein and provide important information for a confirmative study.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthraquinones* / administration & dosage
  • Anthraquinones* / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Blister / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex / drug therapy*
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex / genetics
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex / pathology
  • Humans
  • Keratin-14 / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anthraquinones
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • KRT14 protein, human
  • Keratin-14
  • diacetylrhein