Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Ritter Disease
  • Scalded Skin Syndrome
  • Ritter von Ritterschein Disease
  • SSSS

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) is a disorder that develops because of a toxin produced by a staphylococcal infection. A toxin is a harmful substance that causes disease when it enters tissues of the body. In SSSS the toxin specifically binds to a target protein very high in the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) producing total body reddening of the skin and blistering and sloughing of the skin resembling a hot water burn or scalding of the skin. The top layer of the skin may peel off and shed. Affected individuals may also experience nonspecific symptoms such as fever (usually low grade), chills, and weakness. Unlike similar disorders, the mucous membranes are not usually affected. Infants and younger children are most susceptible, but the disorder can also occur in certain older children or adults such as people who have compromised immune systems or insufficient kidney (renal) function. Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome is caused by toxins produced by certain strains of a bacterial germ Staphylococcus aureus.

Supporting Organizations

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  1/5/1970
Copyright  2015 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.