Erysipelas (erysipelas). Causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of erysipelas


  1. Erysipelas, erysipelas - what is it?
  2. Local manifestations of erysipelas
  3. How are varicose veins and erysipelas (erysipelas) associated
  4. Diagnosis and treatment of erysipelas (erysipelas)
  5. Frequently asked questions from our patients on the Internet

Erysipelas, erysipelas - what is it?


Erysipelas, erysipelas is an acute infectious disease characterized by damage to the upper layers of the skin, subcutaneous tissue and superficial lymphatic vessels, caused by pyogenic streptococci. The main clinical sign of the disease are characteristic foci of redness, which gave the name to the pathology, ἐρυσίπελας (Greek) - "red skin" with local hyperthermia. Another characteristic symptom is severe intoxication (chills, fever up to 39-40 degrees, weakness, nausea, vomiting).

Erysipelas (erysipelas) on the lower limb

A characteristic picture of erysipelas (erysipelas) on the leg


Any wound or scratch can serve as the entrance gate of infection and the onset of the disease. The incubation period is 3-5 days. The onset of the disease is characterized by symptoms of general intoxication. Local symptoms appear 10-20 hours after the onset of the disease. There is a feeling of discomfort, itching, tightness of the skin. After a few hours, erythema develops, characteristic of the disease. Spots of hyperemia have clear contours, in appearance they are often compared with tongues of flame, a geographical map. The affected areas have an elevated temperature, painful on palpation.

Local manifestations of erysipelas


According to local manifestations, erysipelas is classified into:

  1. Erythematous - characterized by redness and edema, the affected area has a clear line of demarcation from healthy tissue.
  2. Erythematous-bullous - blisters filled with transparent contents appear on the background of erythema
  3. Erythematous-hemorrhagic - differs from hemorrhagic by the presence of punctate hemorrhages.
  4. Bullous hemorrhagic - characterized by the presence of blisters and hemorrhages.

Erysipelas can affect the skin of any localization, but the areas on the face and lower legs are more often affected.

How are varicose veins and erysipelas (erysipelas) associated


Varicose disease, a pathology characterized by a violation of the venous outflow of the lower extremities. Due to the peculiarities of blood supply, trophic disorders in chronic venous insufficiency (an integral companion of varicose veins) occur in the lower third of the leg. Thus, the incidence of erysipelas in the lower leg increases sharply with CVI. And patients with a trophic ulcer are most susceptible to infection.

The following patterns are available:

  1. The likelihood of developing erysipelas is the higher, the more advanced the stage of varicose veins is (i.e., in patients with C1 it will be minimal, and with C6 it will be maximal).
  2. In patients with varicose veins, erysipelas often have a recurrent nature.
  3. Each case of erysipelatous inflammation aggravates trophic disorders and thereby facilitates the transition of varicose veins to the next clinical stage (for example, C5 in C6).
  4. With erysipelas, lymphatic vessels are always damaged, which often leads to the development of lymphostasis and even elephantiasis (elephantiasis).

Diagnosis and treatment of erysipelas (erysipelas)


The typical clinical picture of erysipelas rarely causes difficulties in diagnosis. Hemolytic streptococcus retained sensitivity to penicillins, nitrofurans, sulfonamides. Very good erysipelas is amenable to local treatment (antiseptics, ultraviolet, etc.). Treatment of erysipelas itself is often straightforward. However, a trophic ulcer that has arisen against the background of chronic venous insufficiency is not so easy to cure. In this case, it is necessary to treat not only the erysipelas infection, but also to correct the blood reflux in the venous system. As a rule, the fight against infection takes no more than 2 weeks. During this period, it is necessary to use compression hosiery, dressings with antiseptic solutions, antibiotics. After stopping the inflammation, it is necessary to eliminate the pathological discharge of blood through the superficial veins, preferably with minimal trauma. Modern endovascular techniques have proven themselves in the treatment of varicose veins with trophic disorders. If pathological reflux persists in the venous system, the recurrence of a trophic ulcer or erysipelas will not have to wait long. 

Frequently asked questions from our patients on the Internet

Which doctor deals with the treatment of erysipelas?

Erysipelas is an acute infectious disease, therefore infectious disease doctors are primarily concerned with this problem. But after the inflammation subsides, if the patient has varicose veins of the lower extremities, phlebologists will take care of them to remove varicose veins and reduce the risk of recurrence of erysipelas. 

How to cure erysipelas at home on your own? 

You can cure an erysipelas at home on your own, provided that you have a special medical education. Otherwise, it is necessary to treat erysipelas at home strictly under the supervision of an infectious disease doctor. With competent and timely diagnosis, as a rule, the treatment of erysipelas is not difficult.

How is erysipelas transmitted from person to person? 

Erysipelas infection is low-contagious, that is, infection from a sick person is quite rare. Erysipelas is transmitted from person to person, usually by contact.

What to do with erysipelas? 

With erysipelas, it is necessary to consult an infectious disease doctor for professional help. The doctor will explain in detail what to do and how to avoid complications.