Erysipelas - Western SummaryWestern Medicine Summary

Western Medicine

Western Summary

Erysipelas is a type of bacterial infection of the skin.

Symptoms

It appears as a bright red, painful, swollen and firm lesion. It often affects the legs and face in adults and diaper and belly button areas in children. The affected person can have a fever and chills. In severe cases, the skin can form blisters.

Causes

Erysipelas is caused by a bacterial infection of the skin. There are several kinds of bacteria that can cause it, including Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Haemophilus influenzae. People with a weakened immune system are at higher risk, such as those with alcohol abuse, diabetes, HIV, or those taking medications that weaken their immune function. People who have breaks in the skin’s protective barrier are also at risk, such as those with insect bites, chronic wounds, eczema, psoriasis and athlete's foot. 

Treatments

  • Oral or intravenous antibiotics to treat the infection
  • Topical or systemic pain medications if needed