Find out what erysipelas in legs is and how you can treat it

The erysipelas on legs it is a common disease in people over 50 years of age. It is a pathology that affects the skin and can develop very diverse symptoms, beyond skin lesions. Next we will tell you what causes it, what is its symptoms and how to treat it.

Erysipelas: what is it and why is it generated?

To understand why erysipelas occurs in the legs, the first step is to know what this disease is about and why it develops. Erysipelas is an infectious disease that affects the skin, generating different types of lesions.

This disease is caused by a bacterium called group A streptococcus, it can enter the body through any wound, injury or pre-existing sore on the skin that works as a gateway for this type of bacteria.

Another reason why this pathogen can enter our body is due to complications in the drainage of the veins or the lymphatic system.

What factors predispose to erysipelas?

There are some conditions or comorbidities that work as factors that make some people more susceptible to developing erysipelas than others.

On one side is age, since people over 50 can get it more easily and on the other hand diseases such as diabetes and obesity, which also generate a certain predisposition to develop this type of infectious pathology. This is because these types of pre-existing diseases tend to weaken the immune system and wound healing, making the entry of bacteria more feasible.

Erysipelas: contagion and transmission

It is important to note that erysipelas in the legs, face or any other part of the body It is not a contagious disease, since it develops due to the colonization that streptococci do in a poorly healed or healed wound.

Erysipelas: symptoms and foci of appearance

Although this infectious disease can affect any area of ​​the skin, erysipelas is much more common in legs, arms and face. This disease is easy to diagnose, since its symptoms are clear and appear suddenly and they are usually accompanied by fever over 38 degrees and chills. Among the most frequent symptoms we have:

  • Wounds on the skin of red color, which are usually inflamed and cause a lot of pain.

  • Prolonged burning sensation in the areas where the wounds appear.

  • Reddish spots whose edges are usually irregular, raised and with a kind of relief.

  • When the disease becomes more complex, wounds often develop blisters that darken the affected area. In this case it is called bullous erysipelas.

When these reddish and painful lesions are not treated in time, the infection generated by the bacteria can cause an accumulation of pus, necrosis on the skin, even producing septicemia, which is an infection in the bloodstream that can have serious consequences.

If the infection in question penetrates the most superficial layers of the skin, becoming deep, it is called infectious cellulitis, which would already be another type of pathology.

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Erysipelas in legs: approaches and possible treatments

Erysipelas in the legs, being an infectious disease caused by bacteria, must be treated with antibiotics, according to the traditional medicine approach. There are also recommendations or home-type treatments that can help mitigate the symptoms.

Traditional medical treatment

Streptococcus, the bacteria that causes erysipelas in the legs, is usually treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, or ciprofloxacin, administered under a regimen of 10 to 14 days of treatment.

When the infection becomes more extensive and even reaches the bloodstream, generating septicemia, the antibiotic treatment is administered intravenously. In the case of developing a bullous erysipelas, the application of creams or ointments is added to the area affected by the wounds of this condition.

What is sought with these creams is power mitigate symptoms, especially the burning and pain that wounds can generate in the patient. These ointments are usually composed of fusidic acid or silver sulfadiazine, which help regenerate skin wounds.

When erysipelas becomes chronic, advance with the application of Intramuscular benzathine penicillin G for a period of no less than 21 days. This is done in order to make the attack on the colony of bacteria that affects the area much more efficient.

Although it is usually rare, there are cases where this pathology develops pictures of necrosis or purulent discharge that require opting for a more invasive treatment such as surgery that allows removing the tissue that has died.

Home treatment

When we talk about alternative or home treatments for erysipelas in legs, we must understand that they they work as a complement to the traditional treatment, since the bacterial infection requires to be treated in one way or another with antibiotics.

What we can implement at home is the use of elastic stockings that allow compressing the affected area, as well as trying to keep the limbs elevated to help their circulation. On the other hand, to reduce the inflammation of the wounds, we can apply cold compresses with dill infusion.

Medical supervision is essential

Any treatment for erysipelas in the legs should always be supervised by a health professional, since this is a type of pathology that requires monitoring and control. Bacterial infections should not be taken lightly and under no circumstances should you resort to self-medication.

Alternative treatments should always be considered as an accompaniment to those recommended by doctors, since an infection of this type is of care.

Recommendations to prevent erysipelas in legs

Although erysipelas in the legs or any other member of the body, it is a pathology that can affect anyone, there are precautions that we can implement to reduce the possibility of suffering it.

In the first place, special care must be taken with skin lesions especially in feet, legs, hands and arms. Wounds and sores in this area are of special care, since they can become the entry point for streptococci, which cause infection. For example, a common condition in many people is athlete’s foot, if this is not treated properly it can lead to erysipelas in the legs.

A constant and careful hygiene It is also key, since the skin, by accumulating dirt, is much more susceptible to developing conditions that give way to bacteria. The hydration of the skin is also a point to take into account, especially in cold weather, dry skin does not bode well to prevent this disease.

Not a minor fact, in the case of children it is advisable to prevent them from walking barefoot on land where they may have contact with dirty or contaminated elements, as they may be susceptible to catching some bacteria.

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Erysipelas in the legs: a pathology that we should not ignore

As we have commented in the previous sections erysipelas in the legs is an infectious disease that we should not take lightly. Although it can start as a specific condition, with a feasible treatment, if it is not attacked in time, it can develop chronic conditions, which lengthen the suffering of symptoms and trigger more complex conditions, such as bullous erysipelas.

Taking this into account it is always important that, if we see the appearance of abrupt symptoms such as fever and the aforementioned skin wounds, we look immediately medical care.

On the other hand, if you are diabetic, keep in mind that skin care must be much more precise, because the healing of skin wounds, especially in the extremities, is much more complex and delayed.

Although the symptoms of erysipelas in the legs can be annoying and some cases painful, the important thing is to know that with medical treatment, it is a disease that can be overcome without major complications, managing to overcome it in a short time.

Let us prevent its appearance and always consult a specialist when there is the slightest doubt.

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Source: Medlineplus