Stevens Johnson Syndrome

Stevens Johnson syndrome is a rare skin disorder in which the mucous membranes of the skin get severely infected. The syndrome generally starts like flu but very shortly red blisters and rashes are formed on the skin causing irritation and pain. This painful syndrome will peel off the upper layer of skin and very often the patients are to be hospitalized. Full recovery from SJ syndrome can take months together depending on the health condition of the person.

Symptoms of Stevens Johnson syndrome are swelling of face, painful blisters on the skin, hives, lesions or bumps in the mouth, eyes and nose and shedding of the upper layer of skin. In some cases, the symptoms will also include high fever, sore throat, burning of eyes and repeated cough.

The exact cause of SJ syndrome is not known. However intake of certain drugs like powerful antibiotics like allopurinol, penicillin, anti-inflammatory medicines can induce the symptoms. In some cases, taking drugs for epilepsy can cause this type of reaction on the skin. Parasitic or bacterial infection like herpes, influenza and HIV can cause SJ syndrome. Exposure to UV rays and strong chemicals can cause allergy on the skin.

Treatment for Stevens Johnson syndrome lies in detecting the exact cause of the disease. In case the medicines are causing this syndrome, then the patient will be asked to take alternative drugs. In case of severe infection, the person should be hospitalized and monitored for the eye damage by consulting ophthalmologist. They may be loss of fluid and hence replacing fluid is absolutely necessary while treating SJ syndrome. Anti-inflammatory medicines are given to heal the wounds and blisters. Pain killers and antihistamines will be started to reduce pain and control itching. In some cases IV fluids are administered for increasing the immunity level. In rare cases, skin grafting is done.

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