Bayer Switzerland Launches «Butterfly Month» for Those Affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa


In order to raise awareness of the skin disease Epidermolysis Bullosa – a rare yet serious condition for those affected which also places a burden on their relatives – and to help those affected, Bayer is running a nationwide information and fundraising campaign in support of DEBRA Switzerland.

The topics of skin and health are shared concerns for patient organization DEBRA and life sciences company Bayer. In order to raise awareness of the skin disease Epidermolysis Bullosa – a rare yet serious condition for those affected which also takes a toll on their loved ones – and to help those affected, Bayer has been supporting DEBRA Switzerland for the past year with donations and various campaigns. Bayer will be helping DEBRA Switzerland once again this year, by running a nationwide information and fundraising campaign. 

«Butterfly Month» in June 2022 
Bayer is launching “Butterfly Month” in June 2022. The company has also sent information and display window material to 800 interested pharmacies and drugstores across Switzerland, to help raise awareness of Epidermolysis Bullosa among the general public. Bayer Switzerland will also be donating one franc to DEBRA Switzerland for every Bepanthen® DERMA SensiDaily™ protective balm product sold in the month of June. Alongside this campaign, which is aimed at the general public, further fundraising campaigns are planned in collaboration with pharmacy and drugstore professionals. 

«Bayer is also doing valuable public outreach work with its awareness campaign. Bayer’s sponsorship of DEBRA also facilitates valuable exchange and generates further donations.»
Jennifer Pauli
Member of the DEBRA Switzerland board & affected by EB

What is Epidermolysis Bullosa?
Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a serious, and at present incurable, congenital skin disease. Due to a genetic defect, a specific collagen is not or only inadequately produced by the body. As a consequence, the individual layers of the skin do not bind together properly. Those affected are informally referred to as “Schmetterlingskinder,” (butterfly children) because, figuratively speaking, their skin is as fragile as the wing of a butterfly. 

Depending on the form and degree of severity, EB is associated with severe limitations, which significantly affect quality of life. The skin of people with EB is very fragile and even the slightest mechanical stresses cause blistering and large painful wounds. It is often forgotten that it is not just the outer shell of the human body that is covered in skin: EB often also affects the mucosa and other organs. This means that painful wounds can also occur in the eyes, the mouth, the gullet, or the gastrointestinal tract. 

«It is vital for us to educate the population about the rare disease Epidermolysis Bullosa, as those affected are often stigmatized due to a lack of awareness. And, of course, donations are essential for us, so that we can support those affected by EB and help their families cope with the challenges they face.» 
Tatjana Jurkic
President of DEBRA Switzerland & mother of a child who has EB

Living with Epidermolysis Bullosa
Everyday things and activities which are taken for granted by most people with healthy skin, represent a huge challenge for butterfly children and their families. Opening a plastic bottle, cleaning your ears, or biting into a pizza crust can be dangerous and cause large blisters or wounds. 

In its more severe forms, the effects of EB can lead to severe physical limitations: for instance, fingers and toes can fuse together causing restricted mobility. Swallowing is very painful, and in some cases even impossible, due to severe scarring of the gullet, which means that artificial feeding via a gastric tube may be required.

Everyday life for those affected by EB and their relatives often involves round-the-clock care. Dressing changes that last for hours are as much a part of this as targeted measures to avoid further injuries: These can include using suitable clothing and protective dressings for exposed body parts, or frequently applying ointment to prevent itching.

The patient organization DEBRA Switzerland advocates for the concerns of those affected and helps to put them in touch. Since EB is extremely rare, there is also often a lack of experience in dealing with the disease. DEBRA Switzerland provides crucial support for those affected and much needed advice relating to EB. This advice focuses on non-medical aspects of dealing with EB. 

The “Unterstützung für Betroffene” (Support for those affected) fund enables DEBRA Switzerland to help those affected by EB, whenever possible, e.g. by providing tools or facilitating other reasonable requests to improve their quality of life or make everyday life with EB easier. The fund provides help where no other service providers – such as disability insurance or health insurance providers – are able to cover the cost.

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Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. With its products and services, the company aims to benefit people and protect the environment by helping to solve the fundamental challenges of a steadily growing and aging world population. Bayer is committed to making a significant contribution to sustainable development through its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality worldwide. In fiscal 2021, the Group generated sales of EUR 44.1 billion with around 100,000 employees. Research and development expenses, adjusted for special items, amounted to EUR 5.3 billion. 

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Bayer is represented in Switzerland by the three national companies Bayer (Schweiz) AG, Bayer Consumer Care AG and Bayer CropScience Schweiz AG in the cantons of Basel, Basel-Landschaft and Zurich. Bayer employs a total of about 1,600 people in Switzerland.

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