Erysipelas is a type of skin infection (cellulitis).
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
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)
In the past, the face was the most common site of infection. Now it accounts for only about 20% of cases. The legs are affected in up to 80% of cases.
Pictures & Images
Erysipelas on the cheek
Erysipelas produces a rash that is red, slightly swollen, with very defined borders (well demarcated), warm, and tender to the touch. In this photograph, the right cheek is involved. There may be symptoms that affect the entire body (systemic) including fever and chills.
Erysipelas on the face
Erysipelas produces a rash that is red, slightly swollen, very defined (well demarcated), warm, and tender to the touch. This individual has infection in the skin on both sides of the face, however, bilateral (both side) involvement is infrequent. Erysipelas may produce symptoms that affect the entire body (systemic) such as fever and chills.
Review Date : 7/15/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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