Sweet’s Syndrome – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. Furthermore, Sweet’s Syndrome was originally described in 1964 by Dr. Robert Douglas Sweet as an “acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis”.
The syndrome is characterized by pyrexia, elevated neutrophil count, painful red papules, nodules, plaques (which may recur), and an infiltrate consisting predominantly of mature neutrophils that are diffused in the upper dermis.
In addition to cutaneous and mucosal lesions, Sweet’s Syndrome can also present extracutaneous manifestations. Sweet’s syndrome can be classified based on the clinical scenario in which it occurs: classic or idiopathic Sweet ‘s syndrome, malignancy-associated Sweet’s syndrome, and drug-induced Sweet’s syndrome . So, check out Sweet Syndrome – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments:
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What it is: It is arare skin condition. Its main signs include fever and painful skin lesions that appear mainly on your arms, neck, head and trunk. The exact cause of Sweet’s Syndrome is not known. In some people, it is triggered by an infection, illness, or certain medications.
The disease can also occur with some types of cancer. The most common treatment for Sweet’s Syndrome is corticosteroid lozenges such as prednisone. Signs and symptoms usually disappear a few days after starting treatment, but recurrence is common.
Causes: In most cases, the cause of Sweet’s Syndrome is not known. Sweet ‘s Syndrome is sometimes associated with cancer, most often leukemia. Occasionally, this disorder may be associated with a solid tumor, such as breast or colon cancer.
Sweet ‘s Syndrome can also occur as a reaction to a medication – most commonly a type of drug that increases the production of white blood cells.
Symptoms: The main sign is small red bumps on the arms, neck, head or torso. They usually appear abruptly after a fever or upper respiratory infection.
The bumps quickly grow in size, spreading in painful groups up to 2.5 centimeters in diameter. If you develop a painful rash that quickly grows in size, see your doctor for proper treatment.
Risk Factors: Sweet ‘s Syndrome is uncommon, but certain factors increase your risk, including:
- Sex. In general, women are more likely to have Sweet ‘s Syndrome than men.
- Advanced age. Although older adults and even babies can develop Sweet’s Syndrome , the condition mostly affects people between the ages of 30 and 60.
- Cancer. Sweet ‘s Syndrome is sometimes associated with cancer, most often leukemia. Sometimes Sweet’s Syndrome can be associated with a solid tumor, such as breast or colon cancer.
- Other health problems. Sweet ‘s Syndrome can accompany an upper respiratory infection and many people report flu-like symptoms before the rash appears. Sweet’s Syndrome may also be associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Pregnancy. Some women develop Sweet’s Syndrome during pregnancy.
- Drug sensitivity. Sweet ‘s Syndrome can result from a sensitivity to medication. Drugs linked to Sweet’s Syndrome include azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, certain antibiotics, and some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Complications: There is a risk of the skin lesions becoming infected. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for caring for affected skin . In cases where Sweet’s Syndrome is associated with cancer, rashes from the lesions may be the first sign of cancer appearing or recurring.
Diagnosis: Your dermatologist can diagnose simply by looking at the lesions. But you are likely to have certain tests to rule out conditions that have similar symptoms and to look for the underlying cause. These Sweet Syndrome tests include:
- Bloodtests. A sample of your blood may be sent to a laboratory where an unusually large number of white blood cells and certain blood disorders are checked.
- Skin biopsy. Your doctor may remove a small piece of affected tissue for examination under a microscope. The tissue is analyzed to determine whether it has the characteristic abnormalities of Sweet’s Syndrome .
Treatments: Sweet ‘s syndrome can go away without treatment. But drugs can speed up the process dramatically. The most common medications used for Sweet’s Syndrome are corticosteroids, which come in a variety of forms, including:
- pills. Oral corticosteroids such as prednisone work very well, but they will affect your entire body. Unless you only have a few injuries, you will likely need to take oral corticosteroids. Prolonged use can cause side effects such as weight gain, insomnia, and weakened bones.
- Creams or ointments. These preparations usually only affect the portion of skin where they are applied, but they can cause skin shedding .
- injections. Another option is to inject a small amount of corticosteroid into each lesion. This may be less feasible for people with large amounts of injuries.
Other medications are sometimes prescribed for Sweet’s Syndrome , usually for people who cannot tolerate long-term use of corticosteroids. Some of the most commonly prescribed medication alternatives to corticosteroids are:
- potassium iodide
- Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare)