ERYTHRASMA: A Chronic Skin Infection

It is an infection of the skin caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum. Risk factors for developing erythrasma include: obesity, diabetes, warm climate, delicate cutaneous barrier (in case of bleaching), excessive sweating, and poor hygiene.

It commonly affects the toe-clefts, armpit, areas where the thighs are in close contact with the scrotum, areas below the breast.

Erythrasma is classified into 3 types according to location.

Toes affected by Erythrasma

  1. Interdigital erythrasma: between 3rd, 4th and 5th toe web spaces

Armpit affected by erythrasma

2. Intertriginous erythrasma: in armpits, groin, under the breasts and umbilicus

3. Generalised/disciform erythrasma: on the trunk

 

INVESTIGATIONS

The disease must be differentiated from ring worm. Examination under Wood’s light often shows a characteristics orange-red fluorescence.

Wood light examination of erythrasma.

 

TREATMENT

A two-week course of erythromycin or tetracycline is curative. Though, recurrence may occur.

Use of antibacterial soap may also be helpful and topical erythromycin preparations may also be used.

The use of Miconazole is also recommended.

 

FURTHER READING

  • A compendium of clinical Medicine by A.O. Falase and O.O. Akinkugbe.
  • DermnetNZ
  • Medscape

 

IMAGE CREDIT:  Google image

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