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Dermatology Online Journal

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Delayed diagnosis of DRESS syndrome in a patient with skin of color


We describe a particularly severe case of drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome with hemodynamic instability, erythroderma, profound eosinophilia, and severe organ dysfunction. We attribute the severity in part to a delay in diagnosis due to patient's skin of color, as the erythroderma was not noticed until a dermatologist was consulted. This case highlights how even severe skin disease can present less conspicuously in patients with darker skin types. We outline several strategies that can help clinicians to recognize DRESS and other skin disease phenotypes in patients of color, thereby avoiding delays in diagnosis as seen in this case.

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