Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Symptoms & Causes

In-Depth

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.

What are the symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis?

Toxic epidermal necrolysis causes the skin to peel in sheets, leaving large raw areas. The loss of skin allows fluids and salts to ooze from the raw, damaged areas and can easily become infected.

Each child may experience symptoms differently, but the most common signs of toxic epidermal necrolysis are:

  • a painful, red area that spreads quickly
  • skin that may peel without blistering
  • raw areas of skin
  • discomfort
  • fever
  • spread of the condition to the eyes, mouth and genitals

The symptoms of toxic epidermal necrolysis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.