Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stevens–Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a form of a life-threatening skin disease, in which cell death causes the epidermis to separate from the dermis. It is a potentially deadly condition which usually results from a drug reaction. The Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a hypersensitivity complex that affects not only the skin but the mucous membranes as well. Although the majority of cases are idiopathic (no known cause), the main class of known causes is medications, followed by infections.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome starts with fever, sore throat, and fatigue, which is misdiagnosed and usually treated with antibiotics. Ulcers and other lesions begin to appear in the mucous membranes, almost always in the mouth and lips but also in the genital and anal regions. Those in the mouth are usually extremely painful and reduce the patient's ability to eat or drink. Conjunctivitis of the eyes occurs in about 30% of children who develop SJS. Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis is another form of the disease, which also results from a drug-related reaction. Both forms of the disease can be deadly as well as very painful and distressing.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (Video)