KidsMD Health Topics

Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

  • Overview

    Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a life-threatening skin disorder characterized by a blistering and peeling of the skin. 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.

    »
    Boston Children's Hospital 
    300 Longwood Avenue
    Boston MA 02115

     617-355-7701
     fax: 617-730-0505
  • 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.

  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis progresses fast, usually within three days. For this reason, treatment usually includes hospitalization, often in the burn unit. If a medication is causing the skin reaction, it is discontinued.

    Treatment may include one, or several, of the following:

    • isolation to prevent infection
    • protective bandages
    • intravenous fluid and electrolytes
    • antibiotics
    • intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIG)
Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
BrowseSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Locations
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close