Stevens Johnson Syndrome

A systemic, serious, and life-threatening disorder characterized by lesions in the skin and mucous membranes that may lead to necrosis. The lesions may appear anywhere in the body but they occur more commonly in the palms, soles, dorsum of the hands, and extensor surfaces. The lesions are vesicular or necrotic in the center, surrounded by an erythematous zone and occupy less than 10% of the body surfaces. The appearance of the mucocutaneous lesions is preceded by an upper respiratory tract infection. It is an immune complex hypersensitivity reaction usually caused by drugs (e.g., sulfa, phenytoin, penicillin), viruses (e.g., herpes simplex, influenza, hepatitis), and malignancies (e.g., carcinoma and lymphoma).

Symptoms of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

The following features are indicative of Stevens Johnson Syndrome:
  • fever
  • skin pain
  • purple skin rashes
  • blisters development on genitals
  • sore mouth
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • burning eyes

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Common Causes of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

The following are the most common causes of Stevens Johnson Syndrome:
  • use of certain medications such as anti-gout medications, pain relievers, medications to treat seizures and mental illness
  • Hepatitis A
  • Pneumonia
  • Herpes virus
  • HIV

Risk Factors for Stevens Johnson Syndrome

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Stevens Johnson Syndrome:
  • HIV infection
  • weakened immune system
  • previous history of Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • being affected by HLA-B*1502 gene
  • age under 30 years

Prevention of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid intake of medications that trigger the condition
  • genetic testing should be done before taking carbamazepine or certain drugs

Occurrence of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Stevens Johnson Syndrome cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Rare between 10K - 50K cases

Common Age Group

Stevens Johnson Syndrome can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Stevens Johnson Syndrome can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Stevens Johnson Syndrome:
  • Physical examination: Helps in identify Stevens-Johnson syndrome based on medical history
  • Skin biopsy: In this procedure a sample of skin is removed for laboratory testing
  • Skin culturing: Helps in confirming the skin infections

Complications of Stevens Johnson Syndrome if untreated

Yes, Stevens Johnson Syndrome causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Stevens Johnson Syndrome is left untreated:
  • permanent skin damage
  • cellulitis
  • sepsis
  • eye problems

Procedures for Treatment of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

The following procedures are used to treat Stevens Johnson Syndrome:
  • Prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem treatment: Treat the severe conditions of chronic ocular surface diseases
  • Amniotic membrane transplantation: To prevent vision loss and promotes healing

Self-care for Stevens Johnson Syndrome

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Stevens Johnson Syndrome:
  • Apply cool and wet compresses: Helps in soothing the blisters while they are healing

Patient Support for Treatment of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

The following actions may help Stevens Johnson Syndrome patients:
  • Join online support groups: Helps in providing information concerning certain conditions potentially associated with Stevens–Johnson syndrome

Time for Treatment of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Stevens Johnson Syndrome to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 week

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Stevens Johnson Syndrome.

Related Topics

Stevens Johnson Syndrome

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