Epidermolysis bullosa in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia

Int J Dermatol. 1993 Aug;32(8):579-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4362.1993.tb05029.x.


Background: Epidermolysis bullosa is recognized to be rare, but its prevalence in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia had not been previously established.

Methods: We reviewed 49,902 dermatology cases seen in our clinic over a 7-year period (1984 through 1990) and carried out a therapeutic trial of oral phenytoin in three severe cases of epidermolysis bullosa dystrophica (Recessive dystrophic type).

Results: Sixteen cases of epidermolysis bullosa were found in this series, ten (62.5%) of which were of the dermolytic type (epidermolysis bullosa dystrophica), and four (25%) of the epidermolytic type (epidermolysis bullosa simplex). Parental consanguinity was established in fourteen (87.5%) of these cases. All ten cases of epidermolysis bullosa dystrophica developed complications. Three severe cases were treated with oral phenytoin and managed with meticulous nursing and nutrition with blended foods and protein and vitamin supplements and responded satisfactorily.

Conclusions: This study confirmed the rarity of epidermolysis bullosa in this province (population 3,000,000), and demonstrated the usefulness of oral phenytoin therapy, meticulous nursing, and good nutrition in the management of epidermolysis bullosa dystrophica.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa / epidemiology*
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa / genetics
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Phenytoin / therapeutic use
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology


  • Phenytoin