How is toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) differentiated from staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome?

Updated: Jul 01, 2021
  • Author: Samantha P Jellinek-Cohen, PharmD, BCPS (AQ-ID); Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Alan Lyell provided an early description of TEN in 1956, describing the condition as "an eruption resembling scalding of the skin." [2] This dermatologic condition is characterized by extensive epidermal loss suggestive of severe scalding. In that same year, Lang and Walker reported a case of TEN. [3] The disorder was originally described by Debre et al in 1939 in French as l'erythrodermie bulleuses avec epidermolyse. [4]

Lyell later reclassified the conditions of 2 of his patients as having staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, [5] which is due to Staphylococcus aureus infection rather than to a probable drug hypersensitivity-type reaction. Histopathologic analysis of the skin remains the main tool for discrimination between the two conditions.

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