The scalded skin syndrome, or toxic epidermal necrolysis of Lyell, is a nonspecific reaction pattern of the skin. In small children, the syndrome has been associated with group 2 staphylococcal infection, as has previously been described in Ritter's disease. We have observed this association in four children. Other cases of scalded skin syndrome are almost certainly due to drugs. Other infectious and toxic agents are also occasionally responsible for the syndrome.
Although the scalded skin syndrome may be lethal to infants less than 1 year of age, children between 1 and 6 years of age usually recover rapidly, exhibiting a mortality of only 7%. In patients 6 or more years of age, the syndrome is fatal more than 40% of the time.