Dermatological Emergencies

About 50% of patients with true dermatologic emergencies go straight to an ER. But since the majority of cutaneous outbreaks are not life-threatening, ER personnel are oftentimes less equipped to diagnose these acute conditions correctly. Most emergent rashes are caused by medication - Robert Buka MD

Dermatological Emergencies

image by: James Heilman, MD

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Redefining Emergency Dermatology

There are some cutaneous syndromes that can be life-threatening if not diagnosed quickly. Outside dermatology, the term “dermatologic emergency” is often regarded as an oxymoron. Unless a patient’s skin is sloughing off — as in Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis — a dermatologist is not typically the first physician called when a patient presents in the emergency room. Yet, according to Ronni Wolf, MD, there are such emergencies, which are “best categorized into primary skin diseases and severe systemic disorders with cutaneous manifestations.”

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 Redefining Emergency Dermatology

There are some cutaneous syndromes that can be life-threatening if not diagnosed quickly..

10 Dermatologic Emergencies You Should Know About

Dermatologic emergencies are rare but often progress quickly and lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Most dermatologic emergencies result from an allergic reaction or infection, but some primary skin diseases can also become life-threatening.

Five Dermatologic Emergencies Physicians Should Recognize

Recognizing the signs of deadly skin emergencies and knowing when to call for a dermatology consult can save lives, said Steven Chen, MD, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

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