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Exfoliative Erythroderma


Updated April 28, 2008

Exfoliative Erythroderma

(note small patch of normal skin at left neck)

Photo © Dean R. Goodless, M.D.

Exfoliative erythroderma is a condition where at least 50% of the skin's body surface area turns bright red and scaly. Skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema and seborrheic dermatitis can all cause exfoliative erythroderma. Less commonly, the condition can be associated with medications or malignancies.

When psoriasis is this bad, severe inflammation impacts the body's ability to control body temperature and fluid regulation. Such patients often complain of shaking or chills. Patients with underlying severe cardiac disease may find the extra work of maintaining this blood flow stressful to the heart.

Also Known As: "red man" syndrome

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