A Conversation for Human Skin

Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 1

Lady of the Lake {A friend to all, a lover of none}

I have read this article very carefully and it is very interesting, congratulations. We hear alot about the usual skin problems so I thought I'd let you know about a rare one.

2 years ago I had to rush my 6 year old son to hospital with large red patches and blisters on his skin, the main blister on his back was over 5 inches in length and 3 inches in width. The doctors and specialists at the hospital were all excellent, but none of them had seen anything like it before, you only had to touch him and his skin came away on your hand. After a few hours a specialist from Great Ormond St Hospital was called in, he had seen it in a couple of younger children during his career but said it was a very rare skin disease, by this time over 70% of his body was blistered or skinless, it was horrific, it looked liked someone had poured buckets of boiling water over him. He was in a critical condition for 5 days on monitored morphine and high doses of antibiotics and brufen but recovered enough to be allowed home after 11 days with special creams that we have to use even now as at times his hands, feet and in the creases like behind his knees peel.

Under our skin we have enzymes/cells that keep it healthy, my son's had turned septic and were repelling his skin, the specialists don't know what caused it as the swabs they took didn't grow any bacteria, they said it could have been caused by stress or an ear infection he had recently recovered from and still can't say whether it will happen again. I know one thing, they asked if they could take pictures for training purposes as it is a very rare occurrance and most doctors have never heard of it let alone seen it, they did the pictures with my sons consent and kept a list of the treatment, doses and care, I carry a full list and pictures with me at all times just in case.

Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 2


sounds realy scary! I have seen skin blister quite badly from alergic reactions to some plants, just by brushing up against the leaves, but only to a small persentage of the body like the hands, arms & legs. Areas of contact I think.

If somebaody was to role around and they could get it every ware I supose!

anyway it wasnt to the severity that your son had.

hope the new jobs going well,


Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 3

Lady of the Lake {A friend to all, a lover of none}

It was very scarey Viper, just hope more doctors learn how to treat it.

The jobs going great thanks smiley - smiley but the studying is taking it's toll on my time on here smiley - blue


Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 4

Researcher 211389

Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 5

Researcher 211389

I have just read your article with interest. My 5 year old son has just come out of hospital after suffering from scolded skin syndrome (Nov 2002. At first he was treated for Scarlet fever but like your son no bacteria grew from the swabs. It wasn't until he was forced out of bed in agony that we knew the extent of the peeling skin on his back. From his hairline to his thigh was red rore, the skin peeling off and what was left weeping. Again, like your son, photos were taken and e-mailed to Birmingham, who advised that my son was smothered in petroleum jelly and wrapped in cling film to keep the fluid in his body. He too was given anti-biotics, penecillin and morphene in drip form. His face became unrecognisable as it took the appearance of someone who had been pulled out of a fire.

after 8 days he was allowed out of hospital and is today fine apart from peeling skin on his hands and feet. the 'scalding' was superficial and has not left any scars. The doctors think the reaction may have been caused by cracking skin on the fingers due to ecthsma, but we will never know for definate. We are told that his chances of getting it again are very rare but no-one can give us a guarantee.

I would like to know more about the condition so if anyone can add any information I wold be greatful. (A worried Dad)

Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 6

Researcher 217405

I read with interest your piece on Scolded Skin Syndrome. My son suffered from it in Nov 2000 at the age of only 3. He complained of feeling "unwell" on a Saturday morning, nothing specific all I know was when I went to pick him up under his arms he kept crying out! A trip to the doctors that morning with a diannosis of possible tonsillitis seemed ok at the time. During the night he worsened extremely quickly and by early morning I was phoning for a doctor. Unable to move or be touched without screaming, and these hideous blisters develping all over his body as me and my husband watched we called for help. The doctor arrived very quickly and at first talked about scarlet fever. By 9.00am on Sunday morning Sam was in isolation, on a drip and not with us at all at the local hospital. The hospital were very good and keep us informed of things as the time went on. It took two days before they could diagnos it as Scolded Skin Syndrome, which we had never heard of before.

Sam looked a sorry state and you couldn't help but think what sort of scaring would be left after these blisters had gone. On the Thursday after going in he was released from hospital - back on form and giving the nurses grief! It was lovely to get the "old" Sam back and too our amazement only a week after release at the checkup he looked fine, no scars at all. The only thing I have noticed is that he has had really brittle nails, especially toe nails since this, a small price to pay!

I had not seen or heard of this until Sam was diagnosed, nor have I found out much since. After reading these e-mails I realise how rare it is. Nobody gave us an explanation as to how or why he may have got it or if it would occur again. As with yourself the student nurses were brought in to see Sam and the condition as it was not somehting that happened every day.

Have you noticed how it seems to affect boys??

Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 7

Researcher 225103

Hey guys Im currently 15 years old but when i was about 5 I also developed scolded skin syndrome. It was extreamly painfull and I got the same types of sores. I was hospitalized for a week and was unable to walk or see. From what I understand they put drops in my eyes to prevent eye damange. Its one of the earilest events I remember and i can still remember as if it was yesterday my mom crying.

Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 8

Researcher 227045

I'm 29 now, but I had Scalded Skin Syndrome when I was 5 yrs old. My parents took me to an emergency room doctor, who misdiagnosed me and prescribed some type of cream that made things worse. I was admitted to the hospital, and while laying in a hospital bed in complete misery, my parents were interrogated by social services to find out if they had actually scalded me with boiling water (because that is what it indeed looked like). It was the most miserable thing to go through - not something you'd wish on your worst enemy. My skin peeled off from my head to my toes, and even though this took place 24 yrs ago, I can remember the pain like it was yesterday.

After being diagnosed, I was in the hospital for about 6 days. After I was released and sent home, I still had a little peeling similar to what you might expect after a bad sunburn, but it didn't last too long. I didn't have any scarring, or any other lasting side effects that I am aware of. I have never had a re-occurance either. Hugs to you parents who have had to watch your children suffer through this terrible and painful illness! Must be very scary for a parent.

Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 9

Researcher 228330

my cousin was just diagnosed with scolded skin syndrome. She literaly had her skin pealing off of her. I did not see her because I am pregnant and the nurses said that I could catch it. But my mom told me that it was very severe. I dont fully understand what you mean but i half way do. I feel for you and I wish you the best of luck.


Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 10


I was reading the above articles and decided to look up the causes of Scalded Skin Syndrome. For anyne who wishes to know more, go to www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/staphylococcal_scalded_skin_syndrome.html I apologise for this being such a long address but it is quite an informative website. I hope this helps.


Scolded Skin Syndrome

Post 11


Both of my sons, 26 and 24 had Scolded Skin syndrome at 8 days old. The first son Ray started with a split in his groin and on his lip. It quickly spread but we lived country and our Doctor had not seen it before. I flew to Perth, Western Australia and went to the childrens hospital. He looked as if he had been held by the toe and dipped in boiling water. We were in hospital for about 8 days he was on antibiotics and under a purple light. It was very fightening. My second son Colin got it at 8 days but our Doctor knew what it was and he was treated before it progressed. Now 24 years later my daughter has had a baby boy and he has the same cracks in the groin and under his arms. This time we also caught it in time and a course of antibiotics has stopped it's progress. I beleive it is a golden staph infection and in our case appears to be hereditary.

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