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Erysipelas (or cellulitis) is a group A streptococcal infection resulting in inflammation of skin and underlying tissues.

Signs and Symptoms: The skin is painful, red, and tender. Patients experience fever and chills. Lymph nodes may be swollen. The skin may blister and then scab over. Perianal cellulitis may also occur with itching and painful bowel movements. The erysipelas rash may occur on face, arms, or legs and has raised borders. The infection may recur, causing chronic swelling of extremities (lymphadenitis).

Transmission: Cellulitis begins with minor trauma, such as a bruise, usually to an extremity.

Diagnosis: The organism may be cultured from skin lesions or recovered from blood.

Treatment: Depending on the severity, treatment involves either oral or intravenous antibiotics.

Note: this article needs fact checking: is erysipelas exactly the same as, similar to, or merely related to cellulitis?

This article is adapted from the NIH Fact Sheet "Group A Streptococcal Infections", dated March 1999. As a work of the U.S. Federal Government without any other copyright notice, this is assumed to be a public domain resource.