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Erythrasma - Symptoms & Treatment


Erythrasma is a chronic superficial infection of the intertriginous areas of the skin. It is a common skin condition affecting the skin folds such as under the arms, in the groin and between the toes. The typical appearance is a reddish-brown slightly scaly patch with sharp borders. The lesions occur in moist areas such as the groin, armpit, and skin folds, and may itch slightly. The cause of erythrasma is a bacterial infection. The bacteria responsible for erythrasma are Corynebacterium minutissimum. Wood's lamp is useful in diagnosing erythrasma. The infection can produce irregularly shaped pink patches that may later turn into fine brown scales. In some people, the infection spreads to the torso and anal area. In some people, the infection spreads to the torso and anal area. Erythrasma does not usually cause any symptoms. It presents as a slowly enlarging area of pink or brown dry skin. Exposure to longwave ultraviolet radiation (such as with a black light or Wood's light) causes the erythrasma to fluoresce a coral-pink colour due to porphyrins released by the bacteria.

Erythrasma looks like tinea or intertrigo. The incidence of erythrasma is higher in warm climates. It is most prevalent among individuals who are overweight and have diabetes. The infection can produce irregularly shaped pink patches that may later turn into fine brown scales. Although erythrasma may be confused with a fungal infection, doctors can easily diagnose erythrasma because skin infected with Corynebacterium glows coral red under an ultraviolet light. Erythrasma may also involve the armpits, creases below the breasts, abdominal folds, and perineum, particularly in obese middle-aged women. Erythrasma fluoresces a characteristic coral-red color under Wood's light. Absence of hyphae on skin scraping also distinguishes erythrasma from tinea. The incidence of erythrasma increases with age, but no age group is immune to the disease. Erythrasma mostly affects adults, especially those heavier individuals, and is observed most frequently during adolescence.

Causes of Erythrasma

The common causes and risk factor's of Erythrasma include the following:

  • A bacterium called Corynebacterium minutissimum.
  • Delicate cutaneous barrier.
  • The incidence of erythrasma is higher in warm climates.
  • Excessive hyperhidrosis.
  • Obesity.
  • Tropical areas and Diabetes are the main risk factors of erythrasma.

Symptoms of Erythrasma

Some sign and symptoms related to Erythrasma are as follows:

  • Reddish-brown, slightly scaly patches with sharp borders.
  • Skin infection between buttocks.
  • Armpit skin infection.
  • The lesions may be slightly scaly.
  • Skin infection under breasts.
  • The lesions occur in moist areas such as the groin, armpit, and skin folds, and may itch slightly.

Treatment of Erythrasma

Here is list of the methods for treating Erythrasma:

  • Gently scrubbing the lesions with antibacterial soap may help the patches go away.
  • The topical application of erythromycin gel is very effective as well.
  • An antibiotic given by mouth, such as erythromycin or tetracycline, can eliminate the infection.
  • Clindamycin solution may be used to treat the infection.
  • In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe oral erythromycin with complete recovery is expected following treatment.
  • Topical drugs such as miconazole cream are also effective.

 

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