Erythrodermia: symptoms and treatment

Erythroderma is a generalizing name for pathologies in which a characteristic red and flaky rash appears on the skin. And either large areas are affected, or, in general, all skin integuments. Most often, the disease occurs in older men (for 40) and among all skin pathologies it is determined quite rarely, only in 2% of cases.

Of course, the common symptoms of the disease, such as chills and hypothermia, fatigue and lethargy, enlarged lymph nodes and the appearance of edema. A pronounced symptom is itching.

Species and Symptoms

The most common is psoriatic erythroderma . With this pathology, individual lesions appear on the body and limbs of the individual, which subsequently merge and become like a continuous scaly and itchy stain. Psoriatic erythrodermia often occurs with an increase in temperature, while other varieties of this ailment occur without hyperthermia.

Ichthyosiform erythrodermia of Broca — skin disease, which is congenital in nature and manifested by the presence of large flaky skin areas, and especially the areas of large folds are particularly affected. They suffer from such a skin disease as Broca’s erythroderma, more often newborn children — the manifestation of the disease is noted for the second week or the second month of the baby’s life.

Desquamative erythroderma Leiner-Moussou is a disease of children of the first three months of life with a severe course and not only the presence of such a symptom as the damage to the skin, but also others, namely, severe diarrhea and lack of weight gain Body. With such a disease as Leyner-Mousse eritrodermia, the affected skin areas are brightly colored, infiltrated, and they have peeling in the form of bran or plates. Because of the massive lesions of the skin and the rest of the symptoms, the condition of children with such a pathology as desquamative erythroderma is extremely difficult — the symptoms are rapidly growing, anorexia and dystrophy develop, swelling on the lower extremities is observed, children are capricious, do not sleep. Very often against the background of this condition there are complications in the form of pneumonia, pyelonephritis, purulent conjunctivitis, multiple abscesses and phlegmonous necrosis of soft tissues.

The prognosis for such a disease as desquamative erythroderma, provided timely and adequate treatment, is quite favorable — in most cases it is possible to prevent the development of complications and normalize the condition of small patients.

Another variant is erythroderma eczematous , the symptoms of which are similar to the symptoms of usual eczema. This pathology often develops against the background of a genetic predisposition to it — while there must be an exposure of various allergens to the body. Such a disease is often a consequence of other pathologies of the internal organs, so a comprehensive examination of the patient is needed to clarify the diagnosis.

The most severe form of this disease is exfoliative erythroderma . It is characterized by generalized spread of the rash throughout the body, as well as general toxic symptoms. In particular, patients with this type of erythroderma complain of persistent fatigue, irritation, insomnia, fever, and severe diarrhea.

As is clear from the above, the symptoms of the disease depend on the form of erythroderma. If we are talking about the eczematous form, then patients are observed to have dermal edema in those or other parts of the skin (more often on the face and extremities). If a person has psoriatic erythroderma, its manifestations are similar to manifestations of psoriasis, namely, a rash, peeling and itching is observed along the body, the affected areas are covered with flake scales.

If a child suffers from such a pathology as ichthyosiform erythroderma, he will have a pronounced hyperkeratosis with separate foci of parakeratosis, perivascular infiltrates and an increase in the number of sweat and sebaceous glands will be determined.


The causes of the progression of pathology are different, for example, psoriatic erythroderma develops due to the following factors:

  • exposure to alcohol and tobacco
  • persistent stress
  • uncontrolled use of medications;
  • exposure to sunlight

In addition, the reasons for the development of this pathology can be associated with violations in the work of the human immune system. And sometimes doctors can not figure out the cause of the pathology.

The above reasons are often factors in the development of other forms of pathology, such as desquamative erythroderma, psoriatic and ichthyosiform erythroderma, plus a genetic factor is added to them.


Treatment of such a disorder, as erythroderma, depends on the cause of the appearance of pathology and its form. Initially, it is necessary to eliminate the factor provoking the development of this disease, and then complex medical therapy is performed.

Treatment involves the use of different medications:

  1. corticosteroids (in particular prednisolone);
  2. antihistamines, which relieve itching and reduce irritation;
  3. Enterosorbents that remove toxins and allergens from the body
  4. Vitamin preparations to support the body
  5. drugs that increase the protective functions of the body.

Treatment of generalized form is severe and prolonged, as the disease tends to develop relapses. Even lethal cases of this pathology are described. To cope with this form of the disease, it is necessary to administer intravenous corticosteroids, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection of tissues, through an intravenous catheter.

In addition to taking medications, treatment involves the exclusion of skin contact with water, as water promotes the spread of erythroderma to healthy areas. A hypoallergenic diet is also shown.

It is necessary to simultaneously treat diseases that contributed to the development of pathologies such as psoriatic erythroderma, eczematous and others, as well as diseases that complicate their course. And it is best that the treatment be carried out in specialized medical institutions, where necessary conditions are created for the speedy recovery of patients.