Definition of Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome

staphylococcal scalded skin syndromeStaphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the skin that most commonly affects infants and young children.

Staphylococcus aureus is the infective agent. The infection is systemic, causing eruptions on the skin that give the appearance of scalding.

A single lesion heralds the onset of the infection, with multiple lesions rapidly emerging. The lesions are scarlet red and quickly blister.

The blisters (bullae) are very fragile and peel away from the skin with touch. The lesions spread to be contiguous with one another, covering large portions of the body. The loss of skin exposes the body to other pathogens that can cause complicating infections and means the body cannot maintain proper thermal or fluid regulation.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment with antibiotic medications is essential. Most children fully recover with appropriate treatment.

The infection is highly contagious. Diligent hand washing is crucial for caregivers and family members.


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