Antibiotics such as penicillin are used to eliminate the infection. In severe cases, antibiotics may need to be given through an IV (intravenous line).
Those who have repeated episodes of erysipelas may need long-term antibiotics.
With treatment, the outcome is good. It may take a few weeks for the skin to return to normal. Peeling is common.
In some patients, the bacteria may travel to the blood. This results in a condition called bacteremia. The infection may spread to the heart valves, joints, and bones.
Other complications include:
Call your health care provider if you have a skin sore (lesion) that looks like erysipelas.
Habif TP. Bacterial infections. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 9.
Bisno AL, Stevens DL. Streptococcus pyogenes. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 198.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885