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Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Erysipelas is an acute streptococcal infection of the skin, commoner in the elderly.

Clinical features
The onset is abrupt with heat and pain in the infected skin together with a systemic upset. There is a rapidly spreading red patch of inflamed skin with underlying oedema of the subcutaneous tissues. The edge of the patch is palpably raised and clearly defined and the lymph nodes draining the area become enlarged and tender. As the oedema subsides vesicles and bullae appear in the central part of the affected area. The face is involved in at atleast 80% of all cases of erysipelas from the spread of streptococci from the nose.
Erysipelas is usually brought under control within 48 hours with penicillin; hence the prognosis is excellent for a disease which used to be very serious.

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