California baby with rare skin disease is almost untouchable

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LINCOLN, Calif.- A California couple calls it the worst disease you’ve never heard of. It’s a condition that’s left their young daughter virtually untouchable.

Kiira Kinkle was born on Oct. 12 with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, which is a rare, genetic skin disease that makes skin-to-skin contact nearly impossible. It makes the skin fragile, causing it to easily blister from minor friction like rubbing or scratching.

“A clothing tag or rough fabric or even me picking her up under her arm can cause blisters,” Kiira’s mother, Kirsti, told KCRA in Sacramento. “I can’t hold her hand because it’s constantly bandaged.”

Kirsti Kinkle said there is no cure for the condition plaguing her 9-week-old daughter, but doctors at the University of Minnesota and Stanford are working on treatment.

The Kinkles spend hours each day wrapping up Kiira’s fingers and toes, and bandaging her hands and feet. The only way to pick up the infant is by using a soft blanket as a barrier.


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