Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a rare heritable disease, which affects the connective tissue. Patients generally have soft, velvety skin that is fragile and does not heal quickly. In many types of EDS, scar tissue is slow to form and is easily damaged, with scars to stretch and expand over time.
Here are some tips for EDS patients and others caring for small, minor injuries:
Check for injuries
EDS makes patients’ skin very fragile, and the skin can split creating cut-like injuries. This type of injury does not bleed excessively but may take some time to heal. It is important to check for such injuries regularly.
Reduce bandage changes
Injuries to EDS patients’ skin take longer to heal. Studies have indicated that delaying bandage changes can help wound healing for EDS patients. This is not to say that bandages should not be changed if they are dirty or damaged, but rather that waiting longer than normal between bandage changes may aid wound healing.
Soak bandages to remove them
Even for small injuries, avoid ripping off adhesive bandages. Instead, moisten the edges of the bandage with water or oil to loosen adhesives before removal.
Protect scar tissue
Even after injuries have closed over, EDS scar tissue is more fragile than normal and can easily be torn, possibly re-opening wounds. If the injuries do not reopen, the skin may stretch and split because it is so fragile. Continue to protect the injury site for several days to weeks, possibly using an Ace or padded bandage, after the injury has closed to give the scar tissue time to more fully heal.
Lower the risk of injuries
Patients are often advised to avoid heavy lifting, contact sports, and high impact activities to prevent injuries to skin, muscle, and joints.
To read more about EDS, see our “FAQs” page.
Last updated: August 1, 2019
Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.