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Erysipeloid and Erysipelas Disease

Erysipelas is a haemolytic streptococcal infection of the skin produced by the entrance of micro-organisms through small abrasions or already established wounds. The patient is ill and has a raised temperature and pulse rate. The face is the site of predilection. The affected part has an angry red color; it feels hot and firm. The margins are raised and well-defined. The blood count shows polymorphonuclear leucocytisis. Like all streptococcal infections, erysipelas is most prevalent in temperate climates, occuring usually in the winter and spring months. Chronic and recurrent erysipelas produces swelling of the affected part.

Erysipelas Picture

The differential diagnosis is made from dermatitis, eczema and erysipeloid. The features mentioned above are absent in these conditions.

Erysipeloid and Erysipelas

Erysipeloid is a very rare infection due to Erysipelothrix insidiosa . It is seen in people who handle raw meat (especially pork) and fish. The organism gains entry through breaks in the skin. It presents as a spreading well-demarcated purplish red lesion, usually on the fingers, hands or forearms. There are no systemic symptoms.

Treatment of Erysipelas

Treatment consists of a course of a broad-spectrum antibiotic like erythromycin and tetracycline. There is no need for antitoxic sera and local medicament any more. Recurrent erysipelas requires complete eradication of the septic focus from the sinuses, ears, gums etc.

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