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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.
Toxic epidermal necrolysis causes the skin to peel in sheets, leaving large, raw areas exposed. The loss of skin allows fluids and salts to ooze from the raw, damaged areas, and 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:
The symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Specific treatment for toxic epidermal necrolysis will be determined by your physician based on:
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. Treatment may include:
If you have symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis, it can be an emergency situation. You should go to the emergency room or call your local emergency number (911).