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 Hospital 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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