Can You Survive Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?

Medically Reviewed on 2/8/2023

What is Stevens-Johnson syndrome?

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare disorder that holds an up to 50 percent mortality rate.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare, serious skin and mucous membrane disorder with a 50 percent mortality rate in severe cases. It is often triggered by certain medications.

  • The condition starts with flu-like symptoms, followed by a painful rash (which spreads further) and blisters that resemble a hot water burn.
  • The superficial layer of the skin dies, sheds, and starts to heal after several days.

Toxic epidermal necrolysis represents the severe form of Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare disorder that accounts for only one in a million, and this is the more common form of toxic epidermal necrolysis. The condition is mostly seen in children and adults younger than 30 years but is also seen in elderly people.

What are the symptoms of Stevens-Johnson syndrome?

One to three days before the development of the rash, the affected individual may show the following symptoms:

As the condition progresses, the symptoms include:

  • Unknown widespread skin pain
  • Red or purple rash
  • Blisters on the skin, mucous membranes of mouth, nose, eyes, and genitals
  • Shedding that occurs after the blister formation
  • Painful urination due to blisters on the genitals

What are the causes and risk factors for Stevens-Johnson syndrome?

The causes and risk factors of Stevens-Johnson syndrome are as follows:

What are the medications that cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome?

The following are the medications that can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome:

How to diagnose Stevens-Johnson syndrome

Your healthcare provider will check the following to confirm the diagnosis of Stevens-Johnson syndrome:

  • Affected areas of skin and mucous membranes
  • The level of pain
  • How fast is the skin affected
  • Skin biopsy

How to treat Stevens-Johnson syndrome

The treatment and management of Stevens-Johnson syndrome include the following:

  • Stop the medicine that causes the condition
  • Replace electrolytes with intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Use nonadhesive dressing on the affected region
  • Use antibiotics to prevent infections
  • Consume high-calorie foods to promote healing
  • Pain relief medicines
  • In a few cases, immunoglobulins (IV infusion), cyclosporins, and IV steroids are given to treat the condition

What are the complications of Stevens-Johnson syndrome?

Complications of Stevens-Johnson syndrome include the following:


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Medically Reviewed on 2/8/2023
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