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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2000 October;135(5):545-52

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Erythroderma: an ongoing enigma

Sigurdsson V., Toonstra J., Van Vloten W. A.

From the Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands


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Erythroderma is characterised by (almost) generalized erythema and infiltration of the skin. Symptoms are general malaise, pruritus and hypothermia. The incidence is 1 per 100.000 inhabitants. From a literature survey of 863 patients the underlying causes are psoriasis and eczema (53.6%), drug reactions (18.7%). cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (8.8%) paraneoplastic (0.5%) and idiopathic (30.4%). No specific laboratory abnormalities are found, except for the Sézary syndrome. Histopathologic features refer to the underlying disease. Treatment is difficult and should be based on the underlying disease. The prognosis of erythroderma depends on the underlying cause. The disease can be very chronic and disabling.

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