Erythrasma is a common skin infection that produces scaly, reddish-brown lesions in moist areas of the body. The lesion may change over time and sometimes resemble bruises.
Erythrasma is most common in warm climates and in patients who are overweight or diabetic. Erythrasma is caused by overgrowth of normally harmless bacteria called corynebacterium. The infection thrives in skin folds, such as under the arms, in the groin, or between toes, where moisture encourages the bacteria’s growth. There is often a gradually enlarging area of dry skin that is pink or brown. People with erythrasma may have no other symptoms other than itching. Erythrasma is not painful.
Mild cases are generally treated with topical antibiotics. More extensive erythrasma may require oral antibiotics.
Affected areas should be gently washed regularly with antibacterial soap to help ward off recurrences.
Erythrasma can be prevented by taking the following steps:
- Bathing frequently and maintaining good hygiene
- Keeping the skin dry
- Wearing absorbent fabrics to wick moisture off the skin
- Maintaining healthy body weight
- Avoiding extreme heat or moisture.
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Last updated: 5/13/2022