Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
What is toxic epidermal necrolysis?
Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a life-threatening skin disorder characterized by a
blistering and peeling of the skin. This disorder can be caused by a drug reaction—often
antibiotics or anticonvulsives.
What are the symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis?
Toxic epidermal necrolysis causes the skin to peel in sheets. This leaves large, raw
areas exposed. The loss of skin allows fluids and salts to ooze from the raw, damaged
areas. These areas can easily become infected. The following are the other most common
symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis. However, each individual may experience symptoms
differently. Symptoms may include:
A painful, red area that spreads quickly
The skin may peel without blistering
Raw areas of skin
Condition spread to eyes, mouth/throat, and genitals/urethra/anus
The symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis may resemble other skin conditions. This
is a life-threatening condition. Talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis
if you are suspicious.
Treatment for toxic epidermal necrolysis
Specific treatment for toxic epidermal necrolysis will be discussed with you by your
healthcare provider based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the condition
Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
The disease progresses fast, usually within 3 days. Treatment usually includes hospitalization,
often in the burn unit. If a medicine is causing the skin reaction, it is discontinued.
Treatment may include:
Isolation to prevent infection
Ointments and protective bandages
Intravenous (IV) fluid and electrolytes
Intravenous immunoglobulin G