Erythroderma or exfoliative dermatitis is peeling of the skin over large areas of the body. The term âexfoliativeâ refers to the exfoliation, or shedding, of the skin. âDermatitisâ means irritation of the skin. The skin peeling is associated with pre-existing medical conditions in some people, while in others the cause is unknown. Exfoliative dermatitis, sometimes called erythroderma, is serious but fairly uncommon. Complications are infection, loss of nutrients, and dehydration. The root cause of exfoliative dermatitis or erythroderma is a disorder of the skin cells. The cells die and shed too quickly in a process called âturning over.â The rapid turnover of skin cells causes significant peeling and scaling of the skin. The peeling and scaling is also described as âsloughing.â Many people suffered from chronic skin conditions, including autoimmune diseases, psoriasis, and eczema, will also develop exfoliative dermatitis. Adverse reactions to a variety of drugs could also contribute to massive skin scaling. Severe symptoms of erythroderma or exfoliative dermatitis will be life threatening. Mortality rates are highest in patients with infection, fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, and cardiac failure. The most common causes of death in patients with erythroderma or exfoliative dermatitis are pneumonia, septicemia, and heart failure
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Last date updated on July, 2014