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See also in: Anogenital
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


See also in: Anogenital
Contributors: Mat Davey MD, Lynn McKinley-Grant MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Erythrasma is a common, chronic superficial bacterial infection of the skin caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum. It is characterized by distinct, superficial hyperpigmented or erythematous patches localized to intertriginous areas, especially of the axillae, genitocrural crease, and interdigital web space of the toes. Lesions are often asymptomatic, although pruritus may be present, especially when it affects the genitocrural region. A "disciform" variant (large disc-like lesions) usually occurs outside of intertriginous areas and is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Erythrasma may be acute or chronic. It may be asymptomatic or pruritic.

Obesity, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression, a history of atopy, and hyperhidrosis are risk factors. All age groups may be affected, but incidence increases with age. The highest incidence is seen in regions of high humidity, especially in the tropics.


L08.1 – Erythrasma

238418005 – Erythrasma

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Tinea corporis
  • Acanthosis nigricans
  • Intertrigo
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Tinea versicolor
  • Pityriasis rotunda
  • Confluent and reticulated papillomatosis
  • May present as granulomatous plaques in immunocompromised patients.
  • Condyloma lata of Secondary syphilis
In the toe webs, consider:
  • Tinea pedis (differential of web space erythrasma)
  • Mixed toe web infection

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Last Reviewed:08/15/2019
Last Updated:08/15/2019
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Patient Information for Erythrasma
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See also in: Anogenital
A medical illustration showing key findings of Erythrasma : Fine scaly plaque, Intertriginous distribution, Hyperpigmented patches
Clinical image of Erythrasma - imageId=3663872. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A broad thin brown plaque with fine scale in the axilla.'
A broad thin brown plaque with fine scale in the axilla.
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