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December 1994

Erythroderma: Who, Where, When, Why, and How.

Author Affiliations

Division of Dermatology The Vanderbilt Clinic 1301 22nd Ave S Nashville, TN 37232-5227

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(12):1545-1547. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690120081012

ERYTHRODERMA OR generalized exfoliative dermatitis is a striking but uncommon clinical entity in the practice of most dermatologists. Erythroderma is seen in the neonatal period, but it is most often seen in men over the age of 40 years. Erythroderma, like erythema multiforme and chronic urticaria, is a distinct clinical syndrome caused by multiple factors, some of which are life-threatening. Therefore, dermatologists will be called on to determine what pathogenic factors induced or caused a patient's erythroderma. This Editorial and the article by Botella-Estrada et al1 in this issue of the Archives hopefully provide a useful perspective on erythroderma seen in different clinical settings.

WHO?—IS THE EPIDEMIOLOGY OF ERYTHRODERMA AS UNIFORM AS THE SKIN FINDINGS?  Articles on patients with erythroderma1-13 all suffer from a common bias, the population selected for evaluation (Figure). If the population was drawn exclusively from dermatology referral centers1,3,5,13 and compared with that seen by

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