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Erysipelas is an infection caused by bacteria that occurs in the upper portion of the skin. It is usually caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. This bacterium is also responsible for causing sore throat. It is characterized by large and red patches on your skin.
The symptoms of erysipelas are -
1. You may experience chills and fever
2. Swelling of various glands in the body
3. Presence of red spots on the skin with raised edges
4. You may experience blisters on your skin
5. You may also feel lethargic and dizzy
This disease occurs when the bacterium makes its way through the upper layer of the skin. If you have cuts and bruises on the skin, then the bacteria may enter the skin, and thus lead to infection. However, they don't cause any harm if they are present on the skin. Erysipelas may also be caused if you have infections of the throat and the nose.
Some other causes of erysipelas are:
1. If you are bitten by an insect
2. If you have had a surgical procedure
3. Certain skin complications such as psoriasis may lead to erysipelas
4. It may also be caused by ulcers
5. If you are affected by diabetes which results in swelling of the legs
6. If you are a used of abusive drugs such as heroin
The age group that is at the highest risk bracket consists of older people and young children. The immune systems of older adults are weak; so the chances of infections occurring are higher. The treatments for this disease include consumption of fluids and keeping the affected part at an elevated position to minimize the swelling.
It is also recommended to use medications only after doctor's consultation. In serious cases, antibiotics are administered through the vein. If the disease causes deterioration of healthy tissues in the affected part, then surgery is recommended to treat it.
The preventive measures for this disease include keeping your wounds clean, maintaining good personal hygiene and using moisturizers to prevent the skin from drying.