Sweet’s Syndrome

Acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis (or Sweet’s Syndrome) is an inflammatory skin condition that usually occurs alongside another illness. It can affect people of any age but most often affects middle-aged women. Usually, during an illness such as a infection, people can develop small red lesions on the hands, arms, neck and legs. These lesions grow and become red lumps that are full of a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil. Associated with the skin lumps are sometimes other symptoms that can vary. People can feel tired, have a fever, joint pain and nausea.

Sometimes the initial illness such as the infection may have gone but the rash comes up later. More rarely, a persistent underlying illness may be causing it and this needs to be investigated.

Diagnosis of acute febrile neutrophilic dermatitis is usually made clinically (from examination by a doctor) but occasionally a skin sample or biopsy is needed.

In most cases, acute febrile neutrophilic dermatitis disappears on its own in a matter of weeks and leaves no mark on the skin. Sometimes a doctor may give steroids in order for it to go quicker. In very rare cases, the condition can be chronic and can persist, in which case other tablets are necessary long term. However, this is very rare and unusual so not a lot is known as to what the best treatment would be.

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