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Exfoliative dermatitis

Definition

Exfoliative dermatitis is widespread scaling of the skin, often with itching (pruritus), skin redness (erythroderma), and hair loss.

Alternative Names

Erythroderma; Dermatitis exfoliativa

Causes

This condition may occur in severe cases of many common skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. It is sometimes caused by an allergy to drugs.

Treatment

A person with severe erythroderma or exfoliative dermatitis often needs hospital care or admission to an intensive-care burn unit.

References

Habif TP. Exanthems and drug eruptions. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 14.

Usatine RP, Krejci-Manwaring J. Dermatology. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 33.


Review Date: 2/25/2014
Reviewed By: Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, Dermatologist in Private Practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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