What is erysipelas?

Erysipelas is an infection of the most superficial (outermost) layers of the skin.

What causes erysipelas?

Most of the time erysipelas is caused by a bacterial infection.

What are the symptoms?

  • Well marked area of redness and swelling
  • May be itchy, painful and may blister
  • Commonly affects the face (where it affects both sides of the face), can also affect the legs
  • A previous small wound near the affected area which would have let the bugs in to the skin
  • Some feel generally unwell with a temperature, muscle aches, loss of appetite etc (i.e. flu-like symptoms)

How can erysipelas be treated?

  • Oral antibiotics (Benzylpenicillin / Erythromycin)
  • Intravenous antibiotics (If the infection is very severe will need hospital admission and treatment with antibiotics directly into the veins)

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