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Abstract

Epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (EBA) is a chronic autoimmune subepidermal bullous disease with clinical features similar to the genetic form of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. EBA is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies against type VII collagen which is a major component of the anchoring fibrils at the dermal-epidermal junction. EBA can be divided into two main clinical types; mechanobullous and inflammatory EBA. Mechanobullous EBA, referred to as classic EBA, presents with skin fragility, blisters and dystrophic changes on trauma-prone areas. Inflammatory EBA resembles other autoimmune subepidermal bullous diseases. Compelling evidence from mouse models supports a pathogenic role of autoantibodies against type VII collagen in EBA. Treatment of EBA is often unsatisfactory. The most widely used systemic treatment is corticosteroids. Colchicine and dapsone have been reported to be good treatment modalities when combined with corticosteroids. Some intractable cases of EBA have successfully been treated with intravenous immunoglobulin or rituximab.