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Scalded skin syndrome is a contagious disease that consists of a skin reaction to an infection by some species of bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus, which release a toxic substance that promotes the peeling of the skin, leaving it with the appearance of of a burned skin.
Newborns and babies are more susceptible to this syndrome because their immune system is not yet well developed. However, it can also appear in older children or adults, especially those with poor kidney function or immune systems.
Treatment consists of the administration of antibiotics and analgesics and the application of moisturizing creams that accelerate the skin's recovery.
Symptoms of this syndrome begin with the appearance of an isolated wound, which most often appears in the diaper region or around the rest of the umbilical cord, in the case of babies, on the face, in cases of older children. old, or even in any part of the body, in the case of adults.
After 2 or 3 days, the infection site begins to show other signs such as:
- Intense redness;
- Intense pain to touch;
- Skin peeling.
Over time, if the infection is not treated, the toxin continues to spread throughout the body, starting to affect other places in the body and becoming more visible in places of friction such as the buttocks, skin folds, hands or feet, for example.
During this worsening process, the upper layer of the skin starts to come off in pieces, giving way to a burnt-looking skin, with water bubbles that break easily, also causing symptoms such as fever, chills, weakness, irritability, loss of appetite, conjunctivitis or even dehydration.
What causes the syndrome
This disease is caused by some subspecies of Staphylococcus bacteria, which enter the body through a cut or wound and release toxins that hinder the skin's healing and ability to maintain its structure, causing it to the surface layer begins to peel off, similar to a burn.
These toxins can spread to the rest of the body through the bloodstream and reach the skin throughout the body, and can even cause a serious, generalized infection known as septicemia. See what symptoms of septicemia to watch out for.
However, Staphylococcus bacteria are always present on the skin, without causing any kind of infection in he althy people. So, scalded skin syndrome is usually only at risk of developing in people with weakened immune systems, such as babies or adults who are experiencing a serious illness or after surgery, for example.
How the treatment is done
Treatment usually consists of the administration of antibiotics intravenously and later orally, analgesics such as paracetamol and moisturizing creams to protect the new skin that forms. In the case of newborns affected by this syndrome, they are normally kept in an incubator.
The surface layer of the skin is quickly renewed, healing in about 5 to 7 days after the start of treatment. However, if not treated in a timely manner, this infection can cause pneumonia, cellulitis or even generalized infection.