Have you heard of SSSS: Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome?

Skin Analysis
11 Nov 2013

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What is staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome?

Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) is a skin condition characterised by red blistering skin that looks like a burn or scald, therefore the name ?staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome?. SSSS is caused by the release of two exotoxins (epidermolytic toxins A and B) from the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Desmosomes are the part of the skin cell responsible for adhering to the adjacent skin cell. The toxins bind to a molecule within the desmosome called Desmoglein 1 and break it up so the skin cells become unstuck.

SSSS has also been called Ritter’s disease or Lyell’s disease when it appears in newborns or young infants.

Young children, who?s immune system are not yet fully functioning and Immunocompromised.

Outbreaks of SSSS often occur in childcare facilities. About 15-40% of healthy humans are carriers of Staphylococcus aureus, that is, they have the bacteria on their skin without any sign of infection or disease (colonisation). However, staphylococcal skin infections are seen commonly in infants and younger children, thus an obvious increased risk of SSSS. Staphylococcus aureus is also commonly found in infections of the throat, ears and eyes.

SSSS usually starts with fever, irritability and widespread redness of the skin. Within 24-48 hours fluid-filled blisters form. These rupture easily, leaving an area that looks like a burn.

Characteristics of the rash include:

Tissue paper-like wrinkling of the skin is followed by the appearance of large fluid-filled blisters (bullae) in the armpits, groin and body orifices such as the nose and ears.
Rash spreads to other parts of the body including the arms, legs and trunk. Top layer of skin begins peeling off in sheets, leaving exposed a moist, red and tender area.

Other symptoms may include tender and painful areas around the infection site, weakness, and dehydration.

The diagnosis can be confirmed by taking a tissue sample of the infected area and examining it under a microscope and bacterial culture.
For further information contact the Natural Dermatology Clinic on 020 7467 1539 or appointments@claudialouch.com

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