Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare and serious condition that causes your skin to come loose and detach.

It was once known as Lyell’s syndrome, and it’s sometimes mistakenly called “Steven Johnson syndrome.” SJS is related to toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and they are similar diagnoses, but TEN is a more severe condition.

In more than 80 percent of cases, SJS is caused by an unpredictable adverse reaction to medication. It’s less frequently caused by infections.

Researchers report that there are four to five cases of SJS for every 1 million adults annually.

It is life threatening and should be treated immediately.


If you suspect you have the disease, call emergency services or go to an emergency care facility. The following course is where the following course progresses:

  • You have taken new medication in the last 8 weeks.
  • You have flu symptoms.
  • You have a rash on your face or chest that can spread to your lungs.
  • You experience a sensation of heat.

The hallmark symptom of SJS is a rash that involves your skin.

In many cases, you’ll experience other symptoms 1 to 3 days before the rash begins. Often, the first symptom is fever. Other early symptoms may include:

Pink spots in the middle of your skin are caused by the rash. These areas could be raised or flat. As symptoms progress, the spots can become darker red or purple.

The rash usually starts on the face and chest before spreading to the mucous membranes, most often your lips and the inside of your mouth, but it could also appear on your:

  • There are eyes and eyelids.
  • genitals
  • The stomach
  • The upper respiratory tract is responsible for the upper respiratory tract.
  • Anus.

The skin will peel in some places, and the rash will blisters.

Rashes caused by SJS can occur anywhere, but they will usually begin on your face or chest and later spread across your body. Mucous membranes are also affected, with about half of people with SJS developing rashes on three separate mucosal sites.

There are pictures of typical rashes caused by the SJS.

The most common cause of SJS is an immune response to certain medications. It is possible for infections to cause the disease.

Some experts have suggested that a combination of medications and infections could together cause SJS, while in some cases, the trigger is never identified.


While more than 100 medications have been associated with SJS, they generally fall into a handful of categories. SJS develops within a few days to 8 weeks after first taking the new medication.

Medications associated with SJS include:


There are two main categories of infections that are associated with SJS: viral and bacterial. Viral infections associated with SJS include:

There are infections associated with the SJS.


There have been reports of SJS linked to vaccinations, although it is extremely rare, totaling around a dozen known cases and associated with nearly as many different vaccines. There is no clear pattern or specific vaccine to be aware of.

SJS can affect anyone, but it’s more common in women and older people. It’s also been reported that SJS is more common in children.

Medical conditions are risk factors for the project.

Your genes are a risk factor for the disease. If a family member has had a disease, your risk of it is increased.

Variations of the gene HLA-B are associated with an increased risk of SJS and can sometimes be found in people of various ethnic identities, including:

  • Han Chinese.
  • The person is Thai.
  • Malaysian.
  • South Indian.
  • Taiwanese.
  • Japanese.
  • Korean.
  • European.

Without genetic testing, you will not know if your genes are affected. Before you are treated with certain medications, you might be ordered a genetic test.

If you have had either of these before, you should avoid known triggers.

There are different diagnoses for the same disease. The amount of skin affected is the determining factor.

  • The percentage is considered to be the threshold for the term “sjS”.
  • The term overlap is used for 10 to 30 percent.
  • Ten percent is considered 30 percent.

The least severe of these diagnoses, SJS, is still life threatening and should be treated immediately.

The areas that are at risk for complications because of the effects of the disease are your skin and mucous membranes.

You can experience serious problems from the disease inside of your body.

If you receive a diagnosis of SJS, you’ll immediately be admitted to a hospital, potentially the intensive care unit (ICU), a specialized burn unit, or dermatology unit.

If you take medications that could cause the disease, you will stop taking them. Symptom management and preventing infections will be the focus of treatment.

Skin care will be a primary focus of treatment, including cleaning, dressing, and removing dead tissue.

Other treatments include:

The SJS must be treated.

If you meet any of the criteria, you should seek medical help immediately.

  • In the last 8 weeks, I started taking new medication.
  • You may have a rash that is related to the disease.
  • Have a family history of either of those.
  • Have a previous diagnosis of something else.

There is no specific test or criteria to diagnose SJS.

A doctor will diagnose your condition based on your medical history and symptoms, like a rash or a mole.

Doctors may take a skin sample, called a biopsy, or perform other diagnostic tests to help confirm SJS and rule out other conditions.

The only way to prevent SJS is to minimize your risk.

If you have had previous traumas like SJS or TEN, avoid any previous medications. If you have not had either of those, this is relevant.

Your doctor may review your genes for variations that could increase your risk of SJS before starting your medication.

Recovery from SJS will look different for everyone, depending on the severity of symptoms and complications. SJS is sometimes fatal — reportedly 2 to 5 percent of cases — but these numbers have been improving as treatments get better.

Skin will start to regrow in 2 to 3 weeks but could take several months to fully return. Other symptoms or complications will have a range of recovery times and can have permanent effects.

SJS can take a mental toll in addition to the physical symptoms. If you’ve had SJS, speak with a healthcare professional if you’re feeling depressed or anxious.

It is a medical emergency when it happens to be a rare condition.

A rash will usually appear within a few days, but first symptoms might look like a flu. The rash will peel and blisters.

Certain medications can cause a reaction. It can be the result of an illness. Your genes can increase your risk.

If you get a diagnosis of SJS, you will be admitted to the hospital immediately. The sooner you start treatment, the better.

Your doctor will advise you on how to avoid getting it again after you have had it.