Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

What is toxic epidermal necrolysis?

Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a life-threatening skin disorder characterized by a blistering and peeling of the skin. It can be caused by a reaction to medication, most often from antibiotics or anticonvulsives. The condition causes the skin to peel in sheets, leaving large raw areas.

  • If left untreated, the raw, damaged areas that result from the skin peeling away can easily become infected, and the condition can spread to the eyes, mouth and genitals.
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis progresses fast, usually within three days. For this reason, treatment usually includes hospitalization, often in the burn unit.
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis can be caused by a reaction to medication, most often from antibiotics or anticonvulsives. Treatment may include the discontinuation of these medications.