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Generalized exfoliative dermatitis is a severe inflammation of the entire skin surface due to a reaction to certain drugs, or as a result of complications from another skin condition. In some cases, lymph node cancer (lymphoma) can cause generalized exfoliative dermatitis. Often, however, no cause can be found.
The following are the most common symptoms of generalized exfoliative dermatitis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of generalized exfoliative dermatitis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Diagnosis includes careful elimination of known causes, such as certain drugs (i.e., penicillin and barbiturates). In addition, your physician may check for other skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, as well as for lymphoma (which may be the cause of the generalized exfoliative dermatitis condition), during a physical examination and medical history.
Specific treatment for generalized exfoliative dermatitis will be determined by your physician based on:
Severe cases of generalized exfoliative dermatitis may require hospitalization while the person is treated with antibiotics, intravenous (IV) fluids, and nutritional supplements. Treatment will vary depending upon the cause:
Other treatments may include:
This condition can be life-threatening and many times requires hospitalization. The outlook (prognosis) depends on the cause. In the case of drug reactions, the condition usually lasts two to six weeks after the drug is stopped