Stevens-johnson Syndrome in Children: Symptoms and Treatment

Stevens-johnson Syndrome in Children Symptoms and Treatment


Stevens-Johnson syndrome is an unusual, severe condition of your skin and mucous membranes. It’s normally a reaction to a medication or an infection. Frequently, Stevens-Johnson syndrome begins with flu-like symptoms, followed by a painful red or purple rash that spreads and blisters. Then the top layer of the impacted skin dies and sheds.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a medical emergency that normally needs hospitalization. Treatment focuses on getting rid of the underlying cause, managing symptoms and reducing complications.

Recovery after Stevens-Johnson syndrome can take weeks to months, depending on the seriousness of your condition. If it was caused by a medication, you’ll need to permanently avoid that drug and others closely associated to it.

Management of patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome is typically provided in intensive care units or burn centers. No particular treatment of Stevens-Johnson syndrome is kept in mind; therefore, most patients are treated symptomatically. In principle, the symptomatic treatment of patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome does not differ from the treatment of patients with extensive burns.

Symptoms of Stevens-johnson Syndrome in Children

Stevens-Johnson syndrome symptoms consist of:

  • Facial swelling
  • Tongue swelling
  • Hives
  • Skin pain
  • A red or purple skin rash that spreads within hours to days
  • Blisters on your skin and the mucous membranes of your mouth, nose, eyes and genitals
  • Shedding of your skin

If you have Stevens-Johnson syndrome, several days prior to the rash develops you might experience:

  • Fever
  • Sore mouth and throat
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Burning eyes

When to see a doctor

Stevens-Johnson syndrome needs immediate medical attention. Look for emergency medical care if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Unexplained widespread skin pain
  • Facial swelling
  • Blisters on your skin and mucous membranes
  • Hives
  • Tongue swelling
  • A red or purplish skin rash that spreads out
  • Shedding of your skin

Stevens-johnson Syndrome in Children Symptoms and Treatment

Causes of Stevens-johnson Syndrome in Children

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is an uncommon and unpredictable response. Your doctor may not have the ability to recognize its precise cause, but usually the condition is activated by a medication or an infection.

Medication and therapy causes

Drugs that can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome include:

  • Anti-gout medications, such as allopurinol
  • Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • Medications to fight infection, such as penicillin
  • Medications to treat seizures or mental illness (anticonvulsants and antipsychotics)
  • Radiation therapy

Infectious causes

Infections that can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome consist of:

  • Herpes (herpes simplex or herpes zoster)
  • Pneumonia
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis

Treatments for Stevens-johnson Syndrome in Children

Stevens-Johnson syndrome needs hospitalization, typically in an extensive care unit or burn unit.

Stopping inessential medications

The first and crucial step in dealing with Stevens-Johnson syndrome is to discontinue any medications that may be triggering it. Since it’s tough to identify precisely which drug may be triggering the problem, your doctor may recommend that you stop taking all excessive medications.

Helpful care

Encouraging care you’re most likely to get while hospitalized includes:

  • Fluid replacement and nutrition. Because skin loss can lead to considerable loss of fluid from your body, changing fluids is an important part of treatment. You may receive fluids and nutrients through a tube positioned through your nose and advanced into your stomach (nasogastric tube).
  • Wound care. Cool, damp compresses will assist relieve blisters while they recover. Your health care group might gently eliminate any dead skin and place a medicated dressing over the affected areas.
  • Eye care. You may likewise see an eye specialist (ophthalmologist).


Medications commonly used in the treatment of Stevens-Johnson syndrome include:

  • Pain medication to lower pain
  • Medication to eliminate itching (antihistamines)
  • Antibiotics to manage infection, when required
  • Medication to reduce skin swelling (topical steroids)

If the underlying reason for Stevens-Johnson syndrome can be gotten rid of and the skin reaction stopped, brand-new skin might start to grow over the affected area within a number of days. In severe cases, complete recovery might take several months.

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