Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis in Children
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--frequently antibiotics or anticonvulsives.
What are the symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis?
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 raw, damaged areas and can easily become infected. The following are the most common symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis. However, each child 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 or throat, and genitals, urethra, or anus
The symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.
Treatment for toxic epidermal necrolysis
The disease progresses fast, usually within three days. Treatment usually includes hospitalization, often in the burn unit. If a medication is causing the skin reaction, it is discontinued. Specific treatment for toxic epidermal necrolysis will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the disease
Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include one, or several, of the following:
Isolation to prevent infection
Intravenous fluid and electrolytes
Intravenous immunoglobulin G, which is used to prevent further immune system damage