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Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome

What is staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome?

Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome is a response to a staphylococcal infection and is characterized by peeling skin. The disease mostly affects infants, young children, and individuals with a depressed immune system or renal insufficiency. The disease can be life threatening.

What are the symptoms of staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome?

The following are the most common symptoms of staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. However, each individual experiences symptoms differently. The disease usually begins with a fever and redness of the skin. Then, a fluid-filled blister may form. This blister ruptures very easily, leaving an area of moist skin. Other symptoms may include the following:

crusted infection site, often around the nose or ears

red, painful areas around infection site

blistering

fever

chills

weakness

fluid loss

top layer of skin begins peeling off in sheets

After the top layer of skin has peeled off, the following symptoms may be present:

fever

chills

weakness

fluid loss

In newborns, the lesions are often found in the diaper area or around the umbilical cord. Older children more commonly have the lesions on their arms, legs, and trunk. The symptoms of staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome diagnosed?

In addition to a medical history and physical examination, the diagnosis may be confirmed with a biopsy (taking a tissue sample to be examined under a microscope) and bacterial culture.

Treatment for staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome:

Specific treatment for staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome will be determined by your physician based on:

your age, overall health, and medical history

severity of the condition

your tolerance of specific medications, procedures, or therapies

expectations for the course of the condition

your opinion or preference

Treatment usually requires hospitalization, often in the burn unit of the hospital. Treatment may include:

    oral antibiotics

    intravenous (IV), penicillin-type antibiotics

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