Exfoliative dermatitis (erythroderma): symptoms and how to treat
Exfoliative dermatitis or erythroderma is an inflammation in the skin, which causes scaling and reddening in large areas of the body, such as the pecho, los arms, los pies or las piernas, for example.
In general, exfoliative dermatitis is caused by other chronic skin problems such as psoriasis or eczema, however, it can also be caused by the excessive use of medications such as Penicillin, Phenytoin or barbiturates, for example.
Exfoliative dermatitis requires healing and treatment, with a menu of hospitalization requirements, under the guidance of a dermatologist.
The main symptoms of exfoliative dermatitis include:
- Skin reddening and irritation;
- Formation of backs in the skin;
- Loss of hair at the affected sites;
- Fiebre above 38º C and chills;
- Hinchazón of the lymph nodes;
- Cold sensation due to heat loss in the affected areas.
Exfoliative dermatitis is a serious illness that leaves the body vulnerable to infections, and the skin that is the tissue that protects the body from aggressive agents, is compromised, not fulfilling its function. In this way, microorganisms can easily cross and reach internal tissues, generating opportunistic infections.
Therefore, when there are suspicions of exfoliative dermatitis, it is recommended to go to the hospital to evaluate the problem and start the appropriate treatment, avoiding the appearance of complications such as skin infections, generalized infection and even cardiac arrest.
Treatment for exfoliative dermatitis
It is important that the treatment for exfoliative dermatitis be started as quickly as possible in the hospital, when the first symptoms appear.
Normally, the patient requires to remain hospitalized, for at least 3 days, for hydration and intravenous medication, as well as oxygen therapy. In addition, the doctor may indicate:
- Avoid taking very hot bathsgiving preference to bathrooms with cold water;
- Get a protein-rich dietlike pollo, huevos or pescados, for example, because dermatitis causes loss of proteins;
- Apply corticosteroid creamssuch as Betamethasone or Dexamethasone, which should be applied to the skin approximately 3 times a day to relieve inflammation and comezón;
- Apply emollient creamsto hydrate the skin and reduce the scaling of the skin layers;
- use antibiotics, to fight infections that can develop in areas of skin peeling.
In the cases in which it is possible to identify the specific cause of exfoliative dermatitis, the doctor may recommend the most appropriate treatment. In this way, if the problem is caused by the use of a medication, it must be interrupted and replaced by another, for example.
Signs of improvement and empowerment
The signs of the improvement of exfoliative dermatitis can only appear around 2 days after the beginning of the treatment and include relief from comezón, decrease in body temperature and reduction in skin scaling.
On the other hand, the signs that can indicate that the illness is getting worse, arise when the treatment is not carried out in an adequate way in the hospital and include lesions in the skin, increase in body temperature, difficulty in moving the affected limbs or the burning in the skin, los cuales are caused by the infection of the skin layers.
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