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Erythrasma – Causes and Symptoms of Erythrasma

Erythrasma is a skin disease that is characterized by the development of brown patches on the skin. The patches occur prominently in the webs between the toes and folds of the body. It is a skin disease caused by bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum.

Erythrasma mostly affects adults, especially those with diabetes and who are over weight. It is a wide spread disease in tropical and sub tropical regions. It looks like a chronic fungal infection.

Causes of Erythrasma
Erythrasma is caused as a result of infection by a bacterium. Bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum is the agent that causes this disease. This bacteria is aerobic, gram positive and does not form spores.

The following conditions increase the risk of developing erythrasma:

  • Immune deficiency
  • Poor hygiene
  • Excessive sweating
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Advanced age
  • Warm climate
  • Dark skin
  • Delicate cutaneous barrier

Symptoms of Erythrasma
Erythrasma is characterized by pink patches on the skin. The skin patch has a well defined border. This means that one can easily demarcate affected part and the surrounding non affected skin. As the disease progresses pink patch gradually changes to brown color. It prominently occurs between toes, under the arms and inner thighs. Mostly it is seen between 4th and 5th toes.

In case of individuals suffering from diabetes, infection is widespread and affects legs, arms and trunks. Mild itching may occur in the affected region. It often looks like patches that occur during fungal infections. Cracks, scaling and slight maceration occur between toes. It differs from ring worm infection

Erythrasma does not cause any symptoms but sometimes it can feel uncomfortable and itchy.

When to consult Medical Professional
If you suspect that you have any sought of skin infection and it does not heal through any self care measures, seek medical care immediately and take the necessary measures. The doctor diagnoses erythrasma by performing a wood’s lamp test. This examination involves ultraviolet light that causes the organism to glow coral red in color, differentiating it from other infections and skin conditions.

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