Life-Threatening Skin Rashes (cont.)
Life-Threatening Skin Rashes Treatment
Self-Care at Home
Because all of these disorders are life threatening, home care is limited. Seeing the signs and symptoms early and going to a doctor right away are the only acceptable actions. If left without treatment, many of the people with any of these disorders may die. While getting to the doctor, the following care for symptoms can be started:
- Do not break blisters that are intact.
- As blisters break, do not attempt to peel away loose skin.
- Cover blisters with sterile gauze or clean sheets.
- Do not apply ointments or creams to blistered or raw skin.
- You may give acetaminophen (Tylenol) to control fever and help with some of the pain and discomfort. Ibuprofen
(Advil) and naproxen
(Aleve) (which are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) should be avoided because of their association with the development of SJS and TEN.
- Do not attempt to bring fever down with cold-water soaks or baths. This makes the person shiver and may actually increase internal temperature.
- If the fever is severe, you may use towels soaked in lukewarm water to wipe down the parts of the body that are not blistered.
- Red eyes
- Do not attempt to treat any rash that affects the eyes without seeking medical attention.
- Do not use drops of any kind.
- Mouth ulcers or sores
- Do not use mouthwash or any oral rinses to treat mouth sores at home.
- Dehydration can occur if mouth sores are severe and pain limits the intake of fluids.
- Frequent small sips of water or any sports drink should be encouraged to prevent or at least limit dehydration.
Timothy J. Rupp, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
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