Skip to Content

Menu Icon
Menu
Menu Icon

Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Acute Toxic Epidermolysis
  • Dermatitis Exfoliativa
  • Lyell Syndrome
  • Ritter Disease
  • Ritter-Lyell Syndrome
  • Scalded Skin Syndrome
  • Staphyloccal Scalded Skin Syndrome
  • TEN
  • Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
  • Lyelles Syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a rare, sometimes life-threatening unless properly treated, immunological disorder of the skin. It is characterized by blisters that meld into one another to cover a substantial portion of the body (30% and more), and extensive peeling or sloughing off of skin (exfoliation and denudation). The exposed under layer of skin (dermis) is red and suggests severe scalding. Often, the mucous membranes become involved, especially around the eyes (conjunctivitis), but also the mouth, throat, and bronchial tree.

Onset can occur at any age. The infantile form frequently follows an infection. In adults the disorder is usually caused by a reaction to taking a pharmaceutical drug, especially anticonvulsants, non-steroid anti-inflammatories, and/or some antibiotics.

TEN is thought to be an immunological disorder and to be one of a family of three skin disorders. TEN is considered to be the more serious, followed by Stevens-Johnson syndrome and erythema multiforme, in order of severity of disease.

Resources

Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America, Inc. (DEBRA)
16 East 41st Street
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212)868-1573
Fax: (212)868-9296
Tel: (866)332-7276
Email: staff@debra.org
Internet: http://www.debra.org

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
USA
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
TDD: (301)565-2966
Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niams.nih.gov/

University of Pennsylvania Dermatology Clinic
Dermatology Clinic
34th and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: (215)662-2737
Tel: (800)789-7366
Internet: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/dermatol/

Stevens Johnson Syndrome Foundation and Support Group
PO Box 350333
Westminster, CO 80035-0333
Tel: (303)635-1241
Fax: (303)648-6686
Email: sjsupport@aol.com
Internet: http://www.sjsupport.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  4/23/2008
Copyright  1987, 1989, 1996, 2004 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.