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The symptoms of SJS/TEN affect the skin primarily. Typically, 1-3 days before the presence of skin symptoms there are several notable signs observed, including:

  • Fever (typically greater than 390C).
  • Flu-like illness
  • Itching or burning of the eyes
  • Pain upon swallowing
  • Joint pain
  • Cough

Symptoms that develop later on in SJS/TEN may include:

  • Spots or patches of red skin that are tender to the touch. These patches can appear darker in colour in the middle, and lighter on the edges of the patch.
  • Bruises on the skin can have a blister above.
  • The skin of patients can blister or peel. This typically occurs on the chest, face, palms of hands, or soles of feet. These blisters can peel easily and with slight pressure of the thumb can be displaced to the side. Thus, patients must be handled with extreme care.
  • On the lips, the moist inside lining of the mouth, eyes, vagina, penis, lungs and other areas, there are sores, swelling and crusting. This can cause:
    • Watering of the eyes, red eye, and extreme light sensitivity.
    • Different parts of the eye sticking to one another.
    • Burning sensation with urinating, or difficulty urinating.
    • Difficulty with breathing as lungs can build up with fluid, or lung infections can occur.

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