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Revista chilena de infectología

versión impresa ISSN 0716-1018


FICA C, ALBERTO. Cellulitis and erysipelas: Management in primary care. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2003, vol.20, n.2, pp.104-110. ISSN 0716-1018.

Cellulitis and erysipelas are important causes of morbidity and hospital admissions. Erysipelas has a characteristic clinical manifestation and is associated typically to Streptococcus pyogenes and less frequently to group B, C or G Streptococci. The most relevant risk factors for erysipelas are lymphoedema and local skin lesions. Raised anti-streptolysin O antibodies may support diagnosis of erysipelas but are present in no more than 40% of cases. Therapy of choice is penicillin or amoxicillin and the length and route of administration is dictated by clinical severity. Cellulitis is a spreading infection of skin and subcutaneous structures without palpable margins. It has a broader etiological spectrum than erysipelas including S. pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. Resistance of the latter microrganism to penicillin demands an antimicrobial scheme based either on cloxacillin, antistaphylococcal cefalosporins (i.e. cefazolin), clindamycin or beta lactam - beta-lactamase inhibitor combinations. Emergence of invasive S. pyogenes infections imposes a proper and early recognition of this condition. Clues for this suspicion are hypotension, a rapidly evolving condition, tisular necrosis and rush. These infections should be managed by parenteral antibiotics, supportive therapy and aggressive surgical debridement.

Palabras clave : Erysipelas; Cellulitis; Treatment.

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