Exfoliative dermatitis is widespread scaling of the skin, often with itching (pruritus), skin redness (erythroderma), and hair loss.
Erythroderma; Dermatitis exfoliativa
It may occur in severe cases of many common skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. It is sometimes caused by an allergy to drugs.
A person with erythroderma or exfoliative dermatitis often needs hospital care or admission to an intensive-care burn unit.
Habif TP. Exanthems and drug eruptions. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009: chap 14.
Usatine RP, Krejci-Manwaring J. Dermatology. In: Rakel RE, ed.Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 33.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.