Non-Necrotizing Acute Dermo-Hypodermal Infections: Erysipela and Infectious Cellulitis

Maria Alexandra Rodrigues, Mónica Caetano, Isabel Amorim, Manuela Selores


Non-necrotizing acute dermo-hypodermal infections are infectious processes that include erysipela and infectious cellulitis, and are mainly caused by group A β-haemolytic streptococcus. The lower limbs are affected in more than 80% of cases and the risk factors are disruption of cutaneous barrier, lymphoedema and obesity. Diagnosis is clinical and in a typical setting we observe an acute inflammatory plaque with fever, lymphangitis, adenopathy and leucocytosis. Bacteriology is usually not helpful because of low sensitivity or delayed positivity. In case of atypical presentations, erysipela must be distinguished from necrotizing fasciitis and acute vein thrombosis. Flucloxacillin and cefradine remain the first line of treatment. Recurrence is the main complication, so correct treatment of the risk factors is crucial.


Cellulitis/diagnosis; Cellulitis/prevention and control; Cellulitis/therapy; Erysipelas/diagnosis; Erysipelas/prevention and control; Erysipelas/therapy Soft Tissue Infections/diagnosis; Soft Tissue Infections/therapy

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