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Skin layers
Skin layers


Definition:

Erythrasma is a long-term bacterial infection that usually appears in the area between overlapping skin (skin folds).



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

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. The patches occur in moist areas such as the groin, armpit, and skin folds. They may itch slightly and often look like patches associated with other fungal infections, such as ringworm.



Signs and tests:

Treatment:

Gently scrubbing the skin patches with antibacterial soap may help them go away. Prescription erythromycin gel applied to the skin also works very well. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe erythromycin pills.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Complete recovery is expected following treatment.



Complications:



Calling your health care provider:

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of erythrasma develop.



Prevention:

These measures may reduce the risk of erythrasma:

  • Maintaining good hygiene
  • Keeping the skin dry
  • Wearing clean, absorbent clothing
  • Avoiding excessive heat or moisture
  • Maintaining healthy body weight



Review Date: 10/28/2008
Reviewed By: Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. 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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