Erysipelas is nothing but common type of skin infection called cellulitis. Streptococcal bacteria cause this infection and are more prone in children than adults. Unlike cellulitis which may infect on any part of the body, erysipelas occurs only on the legs and face.
Erysipelas is caused by Group A strep bacteria and people having cut or injury in the skin are under high risk of getting this infection. It also infects individuals with problems in vein or lymph nodes and those with ulcers or other skin disorders. The infection is widely seen on the face, legs and arms.
Initial symptoms are fever, chills and fatigue which are followed by formation of bumps on the skin. The blisters would be red in color and the area of the skin becomes swollen and warm. The bumps appear with distinct red margin and raised border. They appear on the face, cheeks and in particular on the nose. The face will be filled with dark spots of lesions or blisters. The rashes would be red and shiny in nature.
It is marked by the butterfly rashes on the face (cheeks and bridge of the nose) and the lesions look blood red in color. There would be pain and inflammation and on noticing such rashes one should visit the hospital without any delay. For some people fever is accompanied with headaches and body pain and the lymph nodes become enlarged and swollen.
Who are at risk?
It would be easy for the bacteria to enter through the cuts or wounds on the skin and this infection is seen on both young and elderly people. Those who have got recent insect bites are more prone to get this infection than others. Similarly individuals with autoimmune disorders like HIV and cancer are under the risk of getting erysipelas. People who share towels and use public toilets and those who are habitual drinkers have increased chance of developing this bacterial infection.
Since the infection is contagious, one should be careful in identifying the symptoms and stay separated to prevent spreading the infection to other members of the family or friends.
Your doctor will check the symptoms and if necessary he would do a skin biopsy for testing the portion of the skin having lesions.
Pictures of Erysipelas :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Erysipelas
Antibiotics are prescribed for treating erysipelas. In severe cases, the patient will be put on IV fluids for giving strong antibiotics. With proper care and medications, the infection can be cured within few weeks and the skin color would get back to normal.
After ascertaining the infection your doctor will put you on penicillin for 2-3 weeks depending on the severity of the symptoms. For severe form of rashes and blisters, the person will need in-patient treatment through intravenous antibiotic doses. Erysipelas infection spreads easily in the joints of the affected person causing severe damage.
Many times, the infection will relapse after the symptoms are cured on the same person and hence it is necessary to follow the course of antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor. In rare cases, the bacteria will penetrate the skin and enter into the bloodstream (bacteremia) which is very dangerous.