Erythroderma, Symptoms and Treatment of Erythroderma
Erythroderma or exfoliative dermatitis (ED) is a syndrome characterized by generalized inflammatory erythema (reddening of the skin due to inflammation) with scaling. It is a condition with thickening and flaking skin. Erythroderma can occasionally lead to death, so it should be regarded as a medical 'emergency'. Long-standing erythroderma is often associated with hair loss, ectropion of the eyelids and even nail shedding. Erythroderma , meaning 'redskin', refers to the clinical state of inflammation or redness of all (or nearly all) of the skin. It is sometimes called exfoliative dermatitis.
Causes of Erythroderma
Here are the list of Causes of Erythroderma
- most commonly from extension of pre-existing skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, hodgkin's disease, leukemia.
- due to drug reactions or as a response to systemic diseases, notably internal malignancies.
Symptoms of Erythroderma
- Red skin patches
- Skin thickening, peeling, flaking
- Patients usually complains of a feeling of chilliness as well as varying degrees of itching which may be intolerable
- Oozing and secondary infection may develop
The best treatment is geting adequate nutrition with emphasis on protein intake, since erythroderma patients lose a lot of protein through excessive desquamation and show a tendency toward hypoalbuminemia. All unessential drugs & medications should be stopped. Carefully monitor and control fluid intake and maintain proper fluid balance. Patients must be kept very warm (with space blankets and heaters) and put on fluid-balance charts. Where known, the underlying cause should be treated appropriately. The blanket use of systemic steroid therapy for erythroderma remains controversial in view of possible side-effects. The key is to maintain skin moisture, avoid scratching, avoid precipitating factors, apply topical steroids, and treat the underlying cause and complications.