Pathophysiology

Erysipelas is a superficial cellulitis with lymphatic involvement that is caused primarily by group A Streptococcus. Atypical infections most commonly seen with other groups of streptococci are also noted. Infection is typically achieved through a portal of entry in the skin, with traumatic wounds, ulcers, and infected dermatoses of the lower extremities being the most common sites. Peripheral vascular disease, especially venous insufficiency, is a local risk factor for infection. Most often erysipelas occurs proximal to the portal of entry into the skin.

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