Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a life-threatening skin disorder characterized by blistering and peeling of the skin. This condition can be caused by a reaction to certain drugs, including antibiotics or anticonvulsives, but about one-third of all cases of toxic epidermal necrolysis do not have an identifiable cause.
Toxic epidermal necrolysis causes the skin to peel in sheets, leaving large, raw areas. The loss of skin allows fluids and salts to ooze from the damaged areas, and the exposed areas can become infected.
The following are the most common symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.
The symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult a physician for the correct diagnosis.
This disease progresses fast, usually within 3 days. Treatment usually includes hospitalization, often in the burn unit. If a medication is causing the skin reaction, it is immediately discontinued.
Specific treatment for toxic epidermal necrolysis will be determined based on:
Treatment may include one or more of the following:
The Division of Dermatology at Children's National Health System continues to expand services as more families seek our expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair and nails.
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Sometimes a mom’s intuition is all it takes to get her child to the right physician. When 8-year-old Xavion Chisley developed a fungal infection on his toe, his mother, Nikki, immediately took him to see a dermatologist who removed his toenail to treat the infection. However, when Xavion’s toenail grew back, the infection had not diminished but actually appeared to be spreading to his foot.
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Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin caused by bacteria. The lesions are often grouped together, have a red base, and are open but close over to form a honey-colored crust.
Ticks are small insects that live in grass, bushes, wooded areas, and seashores. They attach their bodies onto a human or animal host and prefer hairy areas such as the scalp, behind the ear, in the armpit and groin, and also between fingers and toes.
A laceration is tear or opening in the skin caused by an injury.
Birthmarks are areas of discolored and/or raised skin that are apparent at birth or within a few weeks of birth. Birthmarks are made up of malformed pigment cells or blood vessels.