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What is it?

Bacterial skin infection that affects its deepest portion (deeper dermis and fat tissue). It is caused by the bacterium streptococcus.

Characteristics and symptoms

It is characterized by redness, pain and edema (swelling) of the affected region. The progression is rapid and may reach large areas in a short time. The skin appears smooth, reddish and hot. In some cases, there may be blistering (bullous erysipelas) or wounds. Is accompanied by fever and usually is accompanied by the increase in regional lymph nodes.

The "gateway" for the bacteria to reach the deep tissues of the skin may be a minor injury, often imperceptible. When erysipela occurs in the leg, it is very common that the port of entry is a mycosis between the toes (intertrigo).

Repeated outbreaks of erysipelas can cause elephantiasis nostra, in which the affected region is increased in volume due to a hard and persistent edema and the skin acquire verrucous aspect.


Treatment is with specific antibiotics for the causative bacteria. The source of infection (the entrance of bacteria into the skin) should also be treated, to prevent disease recurrence and the possibility of the appearance of elephantiasis nostra, condition difficult to treat.

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