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Exfoliative Erythroderma Syndrome - Symptoms & Treatment


Exfoliative erythroderma syndrome is an intense, widespread erythroderma accompanied by hot, dry skin with varying degrees of scaling. It is characterized by erythema and scaling involving the skin's surface and often obscures the primary lesions that are important clues to understanding the evolution of the disease. It is more commonly found in older age groups. More males are affected than females. Most cases of exfoliative erythroderma syndrome are associated with exacerbation of an underlying dermatosis, such as psoriasis, pityriasis rubra pilaris, seborrheic dermatitis, drug eruptions, atopic dermatitis, or contact dermatitis. Erythroderma can occasionally lead to death, so it should be regarded as a medical 'emergency'. Many drugs can also cause exfoliative erythroderma. Long-standing erythroderma is often associated with hair loss, ectropion of the eyelids and even nail shedding. Patients with this condition are red and scaly over practically their entire body surface. There may be swelling of the skin, fever and debilitation. Exfoliative erythroderma syndrome is more commonly found in older age groups. More males are affected than females. The condition usually develops slowly, but may be of acute onset.

Causes of Exfoliative erythroderma syndrome

The common causes and risk factor's of Exfoliative erythroderma syndrome include the following:

  • An extension of a pre-existing skin disorder.
  • Mycosis fungoides (a cutaneous lymphoma).
  • An adverse drug reaction.
  • Most commonly from extension of pre-existing skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, hodgkin's disease, leukemia.
  • A low calcium diet, may also induce exfoliative erythroderma syndrome.

Symptoms of Exfoliative erythroderma syndrome

Some sign and symptoms related to Exfoliative erythroderma syndrome are as follows:

  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Fever, and chills may occur.
  • Low serum albumin because of protein loss and increased metabolic rate.
  • Secondary infection may occur with pustules and crusting.
  • Red skin patches.
  • Thick scaling may develop on scalp with varying degrees of hair loss including complete baldness.

Treatment of Exfoliative erythroderma syndrome

Here is list of the methods for treating Exfoliative erythroderma syndrome:

  • Emollients are very effective for the treatment of exfoliative erythroderma syndrome.
  • Antihistamines help reduce pruritus and provide needed sedation.
  • Nonspecific treatment includes restoration of fluid and electrolyte balance and supportive measures such as administration of antipruritics, application of cool compresses and mild topical corticosteroids, and bed rest.
  • Antibiotics may be required for treatment of exfoliative erythroderma syndrome.

 

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