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Erysipelas - Cellulitis
See also in: Overview,Anogenital
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Erysipelas - Cellulitis

See also in: Overview,Anogenital
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Contributors: Tara Mahar MD, Art Papier MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Erysipelas is a superficial bacterial infection of the skin most often caused by beta-hemolytic group A streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes). It frequently extends into the cutaneous lymphatics. Historically, erysipelas occurred on the face, but at the present time this infection is more commonly seen on the lower extremities of patients with venous insufficiency and stasis dermatitis. Trauma to the skin is an important factor in the development of erysipelas; therefore, a concomitant dermatophyte infection, surgical incision, ulceration, insect bite, or inflammatory skin condition may provide a portal of entry for bacteria. The nasopharynx is often the reservoir in cases of facial erysipelas. Additional predisposing factors for erysipelas include alcohol use disorder, diabetes, an immunocompromised state, and nephrotic syndrome.

Erysipelas appears as strikingly red, well-demarcated plaques that often exhibit pruritus, tenderness, or burning paresthesias. Commonly involved areas are the face, extremities, and penis. May occur in tattoos. Systemic symptoms including fever, chills, malaise, and arthralgia may accompany the condition. Penile erysipelas responds to treatment with antibiotics but tends to recur, causing a progressive chronic lymphedema with permanent swelling of the penis (elephantiasis). Elephantiasis may also develop in the lower extremities from recurring bouts of erysipelas.

Erysipelas is a more superficial infection than cellulitis. Plaques are typically more well-demarcated and a brighter shade of red than with traditional cases of cellulitis.

Codes

ICD10CM:
A46 – Erysipelas

SNOMEDCT:
44653001 – Erysipelas

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Last Updated: 06/07/2018
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Erysipelas - Cellulitis
See also in: Overview,Anogenital
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Erysipelas : Chills, Fever, Painful skin lesions, Skin warm to touch, Blanching patch, WBC elevated
Clinical image of Erysipelas
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