Which lab tests are performed in the workup of exfoliative dermatitis?

Updated: Jun 22, 2021
  • Author: David Vearrier, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Laboratory studies that may be performed from the emergency department include the following:

  • Complete blood count: May demonstrate iron-deficiency anemia or anemia of chronic disease; eosinophilia may be present in cases due to generalization of atopic dermatitis; eosinophilia should also prompt consideration of DRESS (drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms)/DIHS (drug-induced hypersensitivity) in the differential diagnosis

  • Chemistry panel: May demonstrate hypernatremia, prerenal azotemia, or acute renal failure due to insensible fluid losses

  • Serum albumin and prealbumin: May be decreased owing to poor nutritional status from protein loss through exfoliation

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and serum quantitative C-reactive protein: May demonstrate systemic inflammatory state

  • Urinalysis, blood cultures: May be obtained if there is suspicion of infection as a cause of exacerbation of preexisting skin disease (eg, generalization of psoriasis)

  • Nasal swab for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

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