Sclerema neonatorum

Author: Dr Diana Purvis, Dermatology Fellow, Green Lane Hospital, Auckland

What is sclerema neonatorum?

Sclerema neonatorum is a disease affecting the subcutaneous fat of newborn babies. It results in hardening skin that spreads rapidly to affect much of the body. It is rarely seen with modern neonatal care.

What causes it?

The exact cause of sclerema neonatorum is not known. It predominantly affects very sick premature infants.

How is it treated?

Treatment involves intensive care of the infant and treating any underlying conditions.

Unfortunately, sclerema neonatorum has a high mortality.

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