Scalded Skin Syndrome

Scalded Skin Syndrome
Scalded Skin Syndrome

Overview Of Scalded Skin Syndrome

Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSS) is a skin infection caused by staphylococcus bacteria in which the skin becomes damaged and sheds.

Commonly Associated With

Ritter disease; Staphylococcal SSS; SSS

Causes Of Scalded Skin Syndrome

This syndrome is caused by infection with certain strains of staphylococcus bacteria. The bacteria produce a toxin that causes skin damage. The damage creates blisters, as if the skin were scalded. These blisters can occur in areas of the skin away from the initial site.

SSS is found most commonly in infants and children under the age of 5.

Symptoms Of Scalded Skin Syndrome

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Blisters
  • Fever
  • Large areas of skin peel or fall away (exfoliation or desquamation)
  • Painful skin
  • Redness of the skin (erythema), which spreads to cover most of the body
  • Skin slips off with gentle pressure, leaving wet red areas (Nikolsky sign)

Exams & Tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and look at the skin. The exam may show that the skin slips off when it is rubbed (positive Nikolsky sign).

Tests may include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Cultures of the skin, throat, and nose, and blood
  • Electrolyte test
  • Skin biopsy (in rare cases)

Treatment Of Scalded Skin Syndrome

Antibiotics are given by mouth or through a vein (intravenously; IV) to help fight the infection. IV fluids are also given to prevent dehydration. Much of the body’s fluid is lost through open skin.

Moist compresses to the skin may improve comfort. You can apply a moisturizing ointment to keep the skin moist. Healing begins about 10 days after treatment.