Possible symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include low blood pressure, a sudden high fever, diarrhea, vomiting, a sunburn-like rash especially on the soles or palms, muscle aches, confusion, seizures, headaches, and redness of the throat, mouth and eyes, according to Mayo Clinic. It is important to call a doctor if these symptoms arise.
Toxic shock syndrome is rare, but life-threatening, and it is a complication of some types of infections, according to Mayo Clinic. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, or "staph," is often to blame for toxic shock syndrome. Streptococcus, or "strep," bacteria is also known to cause toxic shock syndrome. Historically, toxic shock syndrome has been associated with tampon use. However, because manufacturers stopped producing the types of tampons that were known to cause toxic shock syndrome, it is far less common today.
Even though toxic shock syndrome's incidence is down among menstruating women, the condition still affects children, postmenopausal women and men. Risk factors include skin infections, surgery, burns, recent childbirth, foreign bodies, nosebleed packings and other packings inside the body, according to MedlinePlus. Even though tampon use is less of a risk than it once was, menstruating women should avoid highly absorbent tampons. It is best to use tampons sparingly and to change them frequently.