Scalded skin syndrome

Alternative Names

Ritter disease; Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSS)

Definition of Scalded skin syndrome

Scalded skin syndrome is a skin infection in which the skin becomes damaged and sheds.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Scalded skin syndrome is caused by infection with certain strains of bacteria in the family. During the infection, the staphylococci produce a poison that causes the skin damage. The damage creates blisters as if the skin were scalded.


Intravenous antibiotics for staphylococcus are given to help fight the infection. Because much fluid is lost through the open skin, it’s important to get intravenous fluid to prevent .

Expectations (prognosis)

The prognosis is usually excellent. A full recovery is expected.


David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 12/1/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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