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    Erythrasma

    Erythrasma is a long-term skin infection caused by bacteria. It commonly occurs in skin folds.

    Causes

    Erythrasma is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum.

    Erythrasma is more common in warm climates. You are more likely to develop this condition if you are overweight or have diabetes.

    Symptoms

    The main symptoms are reddish-brown slightly scaly patches with sharp borders. Theymay itch slightly. The patches occur in moist areas such as the groin, armpit, and skin folds.The patches often look similar toother fungal infections, such as ringworm.

    Exams and Tests

    • Lab tests of scrapings from the skin patch
    • Wood's lamp examination

    Treatment

    Gently scrubbing the skin patches with antibacterial soap may help them go away. Your doctor may prescribeerythromycin gel that you put on the skin. If the condition is very bad, you may need to take this medicine in pill form.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    The condition should go away after treatment.

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Callyour health care provider if you have symptoms of erythrasma.

    Prevention

    You may be able to reduce the risk of erythrasma if you:

    • Bathe or shower often
    • Keep yourskin dry
    • Wear clean cloths that absorb moisture
    • Avoid very hot or damp conditions
    • Maintain ahealthy body weight

    References

    Habif TP. Superficial and fungal infections. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 13.

    Millett CR, Hapern AV, Reboli AC, et al. Bacterial Diseases. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, et al, eds.Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 74.



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    • Skin layers

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      • Skin layers

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      Review Date: 11/20/2012

      Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

      The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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      St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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