About scalded skin syndrome

What is scalded skin syndrome?

Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a rare, sometimes life-threatening unless properly treated, immunological disorder of the skin. It is characterized by blisters that meld into one another to cover a substantial portion of the body (30% and more), and extensive peeling or sloughing off of skin (exfoliation and denudation). The exposed under layer of skin (dermis) is red and suggests severe scalding. Often, the mucous membranes become involved, especially around the eyes (conjunctivitis), but also the mouth, throat, and bronchial tree.

Onset can occur at any age. The infantile form frequently follows an infection. In adults the disorder is usually caused by a reaction to taking a pharmaceutical drug, especially anticonvulsants, non-steroid anti-inflammatories, and/or some antibiotics.

TEN is thought to be an immunological disorder and to be one of a family of three skin disorders. TEN is considered to be the more serious, followed by Stevens-Johnson syndrome and erythema multiforme, in order of severity of disease.

What are the symptoms for scalded skin syndrome?

Rise in body temperature symptom was found in the scalded skin syndrome condition

Early signs of SSSS usually begin with the hallmark symptoms of an infection:

  • fever
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • chills
  • weakness
  • lack of appetite
  • conjunctivitis (an Inflammation or infection of the clear lining that covers the white portion of the eyeball)

You may also notice the appearance of a crusty sore. The sore typically appears in the diaper region or around the stump of the umbilical cord in newborns and on the face in children. In adults, it can appear anywhere.

As the toxin gets released, you may also notice:

  • red, tender skin, either limited to the entry point of the bacteria or widespread
  • easily broken blisters
  • peeling skin, which can come off in large sheets

What are the causes for scalded skin syndrome?

The bacterium that causes SSSS is common in healthy people. According to the British Association of Dermatologists, 40 percent of adults carry it (usually on their skin or mucous membranes) with no ill effects.

Problems arise when the bacteria enter the body through a crack in the skin. The toxin the bacterium produces damages the ability of the skin to hold together. The upper layer of skin then breaks apart from the deeper layers, causing the hallmark peeling of SSSS.

The toxin can also enter the bloodstream, producing a reaction all over the skin. Because young children — especially newborns — have underdeveloped immune systems and kidneys (to flush the toxins out of the body), they’re most at risk. According to research published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, 98 percent of cases occur in children under 6. Adults with weakened immune systems or poor kidney function are also susceptible.

What are the treatments for scalded skin syndrome?

In many cases, treatment will usually require hospitalization. Burn units are often best equipped to treat the condition.

Treatment generally consists of:

  • oral or intravenous antibiotics to clear the infection
  • pain medication
  • creams to protect raw, exposed skin

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and steroids aren’t used because they can have a negative effect on the kidneys and immune system.

As the blisters drain and ooze, dehydration can become a problem. You’ll be told to drink plenty of fluids. Healing typically begins 24–48 hours after treatment is started. Full recovery follows just five to seven days later.

What are the risk factors for scalded skin syndrome?

Staph bacteria is very hardy and can survive extreme temperatures, dryness, and even stomach acid. Risk factors may include:

  • Not washing your hands. 
  • Not bathing or showering daily.
  • Not keeping wounds, cuts, and rashes clean and covered.
  • Sharing towels, sheets, or personal items if someone in your family has a staph infection. 

Is there a cure/medications for scalded skin syndrome?

Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSS) is a serious skin infection characterized by the peeling of skin over large parts of the body.
This type of skin infection is caused by Staphylococcal aureus bacteria and can be treated as under:

  • Oral Antibiotics: Antibiotics covering staphylococcus should be administered during early stages of infection. Cefazolin, Nafcillin or Oxacillin Antibiotics should be administered for methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). In the case of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin should be administered
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids should be administered in those showing serious levels of dehydration
  • Tropical application of emollients and non-adherent dressings on the skin and eroded areas can promote healing and reduce heat loss
  • Treatment of Scalded Skin Syndrome may require admitting the patient to the hospital
  • Hand hygiene, contact isolation and proper cleaning of objects such as stethoscopes prevent further infections and outbreaks
  • Caretakers should undergo nasal swab testing for Staphylococcal aureus and be treated if positive
  • Once treatment has started, your child will probably get better in a few days. Their skin usually heals completely within a few more days. Some children have dry skin peeling within a week to 10 days. This is harmless.

Irritability,Fatigue,Rise in body temperature,Redness of the skin,Fluid-filled blisters,Skin denudation across various body parts
Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSS),Ritter disease

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