Cutaneous manifestations of drug hypersensitivity are extremely serious and quick reactions to drugs which can be lifethreatening, carry a non-negligible risk of severe sequelae and lead to epidermal necrolysis. The complexity of these reactions lies in their origin sometimes difficult to determine : In many cases causative drugs are not identified whereas their identification and early withdrawal are the first mandatory steps regarding treatment. Furthermore there are no specific score or diagnostic test available for drug reactions like TEN and SJS, the diagnosis mainly relying on a broad spectrum of clinical signs/symptoms and histological tests.
Knowledge about these cutaneous reactions to drugs still needs to be broadened. The purpose of the thematic group on Severe cutaneous drug reactions is to use shared resources and expertise of specialists to research and develop guidelines and tests supposed to help, for instance, the analyse of symptoms and facilitate the early transfer of patients in specialised units.
The cooperation of specialists from different medical fields is also necessary in order to deal with the full spectrum of physical manifestations entailed by the necrolysis. In addition to dermatological manifestations many organs are often involved (mucous membranes, eyes, nasopharynx, oropharynx, genitalia etc.) leaving the patients in deep pain. This thematic group facilitates the involvement experts like dermatologists, burn unit doctors, dentists, stomatologists, gynaecologists, urologists etc. They also work on offering a better psychiatric follow-up to patients in order to forestall psychiatric distress and the apparition of signs of PTSD.