What is Erysipelas ?

 Erysipelas is an acute febrile inflammation of the skin with a significant lymphatic involvement. It is mainly due to group A streptococci, and more rarely to other groups. Sometimes the infection can spread deeper into the skin and take the form of cellulite.


Microorganisms can enter the skin, after discontinuities of it, such as micro-injuries, ulcers, skin fungal infections and onychomycosis. The entry point is not always visible.

 Precursor symptoms are malaise, fever, nausea, vomiting and they occur 4-48 hours before the onset of the first symptoms of erysipelas.

 Erysipelas usually occurs on the legs, face, ears and buttocks. It starts with a rash, which is hot. Itching, burning, tenderness or pain may occur. Swollen lymph nodes are usually found.

 Patients with lymphatic or venous circulatory disorders, diabetes mellitus, renal insufficiency, alcoholics and the immunosuppressed are particularly prone to erysipelas.

Therapeutic solutions are penicillin or other specialized drugs for streptococcus and topical antiseptic solutions or antibiotic ointments. The entry points of the microorganism should be treated at the same time.

 Erysipelas often recurrs in people with local circulatory disorders.