Sweets Syndrome, Acute Neutrophil Dermatosis 4.38/5 (8)

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Sweet's syndrome. Cohen PR, 2007. CC BY 2.0

Sweets disease, Sweets syndrome (Acute neutrophil dermatosis) L 98.2


Sweets syndrome is an inflammatory disease with sudden onset and fever attack, where skin, eyes, muscles, joints and organs can be attacked. Described in 1964 by RD Sweet


The rash occurs suddenly and consists of tender knots (papules) or hard spots (plaque) that go into depth

  • Fever
  • Joint and headache
  • Sore eyes and mouth ulcer
  • Can attack most internal organs


Sweets syndrome is rare, but most common among middle-aged women. It is also described in men and children of all ages

Disposing conditions


Sweet's syndrome. Cohen PR, 2007. CC BY 2.0

Medical Examination

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and CRP are elevated (systemic inflammation)
  • Increased white blood cell count (neutrophil leukocytosis)
  • Skin biopsy: shows in depth many neutrophilic granulocytes which are a type of white blood cell (neutrophil dermatosis) and destroyed cells (leukocytoclastic), as well as edematous endothelial cells in blood vessel walls (vasculitis)

Course of disease

One or more red and tender lumps in or under the skin that increase in size and last for several weeks. Skin changes may also have blisters (pustules), ulcers (ulcerations) and may fade in the center. Can sometimes look like pyoderma gangrenosum

Incorrect diagnosis (similar illnesses / differential diagnoses)


Steroids (Prednisone) will be used first. If not enough effect is used Dapson, Colchicine or biological immunosuppressive drugs. NSAIDs can relieve symptoms.


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