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Free Essay Sample «Stevens–Johnson Syndrome»

«Stevens–Johnson Syndrome»


Stephens-Johnson syndrome is a critical and serious condition that infects people’s skin. This is a condition in which the mucus membrane and the skin react harshly to drugs or an infection. When a person is infected, the symptoms are specific. They start flu. Red and sometimes purplish and painful rashes succeed the flu. The final stage is the blisters which make the uppermost layer of the skin die and shed away.  The disorder cause emergency, that usually demands for hospitalization.  The treatment of the disorder concentrates on the removal of the underlying roots, symptoms regulation and complication reduction.  Recovering from the disorder may take weeks or months, depending on how critical the condition was. When the physician discovers that the disorder was caused by a certain medication, the victim perpetually leaves the medication and all that are related to its type.


Stevens-Johnson is a very serious heath condition that affects the human skin. The main theory of the disorder is that, the skin epidermises separates from the dermises of the skin. The disorder have another term; major erythema multiforme. In some instances, the disease majorly affects eyes and other mucus membrane of the body. The syndrome is not very common, and is rarely established in human beings. The main causes and disease symptoms are very specific. It is important for an individual to be aware of them so that one can seek medication immediately after suspecting the disease (Ahmed & Dahl, 2003).

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Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of this disease are very specific. Initially, when the disorder is in the first stages, the individual experiences sour throats, cough, fever and sometimes feeling the effects of burning in the eyes. In case these initial signs and symptoms are not treated, they advance and change. The tongue of the victim swells, and at that time, it becomes very painful. The swelling can extend to the face of an individual and it is painful (Roujeau et al., 1995). The whole skin becomes painful and hives develops. These signs and symptoms mark the second degree of the diseases and if not treated, there are other severe symptoms that include developing of red rashes on the skin. They spread in the whole body within a short time or even some days. The mucous membrane especially in the eye, nose and mouth develops painful blisters. The last sign and symptom of Stevens-Johnson is the shedding off of the skin (John et al., 2002).  


Stevens-Johnson is mainly caused by allergen, especially drugs which react against the body.  The drugs that are responsible for this reaction include some non- steroid anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS), phenytoin, barbiturates, allopurinol, sulfa antibiotis and anticonvulsants drugs (Yip et al., 2005). In drug related cases, the symptoms might not be noticed within the first few weeks when an individual takes the medication. Apart from drug related causes, there are other causes of Stevens-Johnson disorder. Skin grafts complications and bacterial infections have been associated with causing the disease. Most likely, when an individual is infected with some infections such as influenza, hepatitis, herpes simplex, typhoid and HIV, the patient is vulnerable to this disorder. In little cases, this disorder can be as a result of physical stimuli like radiation therapy and ultraviolent light (Mittman et al., 2006).


Stevens-Johnson disorder diagnoses are very specific and cannot be mistaken for another disease. At first, non specific signs and symptoms like head ache, fever, bad cough and aching body approach the victim. Rapid rashes follow over the human face and afterwards spread to the rest of the body.  The rashes are painful and encroach different parts of the body. In some places especially mucous membranes, blisters appear and are as well very painful. This makes various parts such as eyes, anus, noses and mouth inflamed. The most unique and specific signs that make the disease be identified is the wearing out of the skin. This resembles burns and is really painful (Murphy et al., 1997).


Treatment of this disease requires hospitalization and most frequently, in the burns or intensive care unit. One of the initial milestones in treating Stevens-Johnson is stopping any medication that could be the cause of the disease. There stand no concrete recommendations that are standard treatment for this disorder (Tseng et al., 2004).  Supportive care is the only help a patient receives in a hospital. One of the cares is the nutrition and fluid replacement. This is because skin loss brings about fluid loss. It is therefore important to replace the lost fluid for the skin to remain pliable. The other milestone is caring for wounds. Dressing the wounds and blisters is important and leads to quick recovery. The eyes should be taken into consideration and seek treatment (Gomes, 2005).


Various drugs are usually used in the efforts of treating Stevens-Johnson disorder. They include pain relievers that lessen pain and discomfort. Antibiotics are also used in order to manage infections. Itching is reduced by the use of antihistamines. Topical steroids are used to control inflammation of the skin. The use of Corticosteroids Intravenously in adults reduces severity of the symptoms and shortens the recovery period. (IVIG)  Intravenous Immunoglobulin is a useful drug to control this disease since it contains antibiotic that assists the immune system in stopping the cause of the disorder (Aber et al., 2003).  If the effects of the syndromes were severe and critical, skin grafting is done, removing body parts from one part of the body to other affected parts. Once the underlying causes of the syndrome are eliminated, the reaction that was implanted on the skin halts, and the skin commences reproducing once more within few days or even months depending on the severity of the infection (French, 2006).


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