Erysipelas is a type of skin infection (cellulitis).
Causes of Erysipelas
Erysipelas is usually caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. The condition may affect both children and adults.
Risk factors include:
- A cut in the skin
- Problems with drainage through the veins or lymph system
- Skin sores (ulcers)
The infection occurs on the legs most of the time. It may also occur on the face.
Symptoms of Erysipelas
- Fever, shaking, and chills
- Painful, very red, swollen, and warm skin underneath the sore (lesion)
- Skin lesion with a raised border
- Sores (erysipelas lesions) on the cheeks and bridge of the nose
Exams and Tests for of Erysipelas
Erysipelas is diagnosed based on how the skin looks. A biopsy of the skin is usually not needed.
Treatment for of Erysipelas
Antibiotics such as penicillin are used to get rid of the infection. In severe cases, antibiotics may need to be given through an IV (intravenous line).
People who have repeated episodes of erysipelas may need long-term antibiotics.
Outlook / Prognosis of of Erysipelas
With treatment, the outcome is good. It may take a few weeks for the skin to return to normal. Peeling is common.
Possible Complications of of Erysipelas
The bacteria may travel to the blood in some cases. This results in a condition called bacteremia. The infection may spread to the heart valves, joints, and bones.
Other complications include:
- Return of infection
- Septic shock
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have a skin sore (lesion) that looks like erysipelas.
Prevention of of Erysipelas
Keep your skin healthy by avoiding dry skin and preventing cuts and scrapes. This may reduce the risk for erysipelas.