Erysipelas is a rapidly developing superficial bacterial skin infection involving the upper layers of the tissue and lymphatic channels and is characterized by skin that is intensely red, firm, warm and/or painful to the touch. The skin has an “orange peel” appearance due to swelling and the redness often has clear borders. It occurs commonly on the face and is often associated with lymph node swelling, fever, chills, headache and vomiting. It is typically caused by the Streptococcus bacteria and occurs in both adults and children.

Erysipelas requires immediate medical treatment, so you should contact your primary care provider or skin specialist promptly. Antibiotics (usually penicillin or clindamycin) are generally prescribed. In severe cases, the patient may need to have antibiotics delivered intravenously.