Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 5 Feb 2020

Erysipelas is a superficial bacterial cellulitis with involvement of the dermal lymphatic drainage system. 

Clinical features

Well-defined, indurated, raised and shiny plaques associated with fevers and general malaise most commonly around the lower limbs and face. Erysipelas can recur and can be complicated by abscess formation or thrombophlebitis. Diagnosis is primarily clinical 1,2.


Most commonly caused by Group A streptococci but can also be caused by S. aureus, K. pneumoniae and H. influenzae spp. 1,2

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