In one study of patients with erythroderma (JAAD May 2014), the following diagnoses were found: psoriasis (20.1%), followed by eczema (18.9%), drug eruption (17.1%), Sézary syndrome (9.8%), atopic dermatitis (8.5%), mycosis fungoides (6%), and other diagnoses (5.5%), represented by pemphigus foliaceus, adult T-cell lymphoma, lichen planus, pityriasis rubra pilaris, paraneoplastic erythroderma, and HIV-associated erythroderma. The diagnosis was not found in 14% of patients. The only lab abnormality that was helpful was high levels of immunoglobulin E in the atopic dermatitis group. Skin biopsy in general allowed for the diagnosis of CTCL.



Toxic shock syndrome

Staphylococcal Scalded Skin


Idiopathic. Some estimate 1/3 of cases of chronic erythroderma, no cause is found.

Psoriasis, erythrodermic

Atopic Dermatitis

CTCL, erythrodermic and Sézary syndrome
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Drugs (One patients chronic erythroderma was from the beta-blocker timolol in eyedrops)
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Pityriasis rubra pilaris Note here the characteristic islands of sparing.
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Less common with case reports of: Papuloerythroderma of ofuji, dermatomyositis JAAD 26;489; lycopenemia, Sarcoidosis, paraneoplastic erythroderma, HIV-associated, lichen planus, pemphigus foliaceous and adult T-cell lymphoma.

Paraneoplastic. Usually T-cell lymphoma other than Sézary syndrome. Solid organ tumors may occur as well. Fine scale and redness along with brownish hue (melanoderma) may be seen.


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