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Erysipeloid is inflammation of the skin caused by bacteria.


The bacteria that cause erysipeloid are called Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. This type of bacteria is found in fish, birds, mammals, and shellfish. Erysipeloid usually affects people who work with these animals (such as farmers or butchers).


The main symptom is warmth, tenderness, and redness on the skin.


Antibiotics, especially penicillin, are used to treat this condition.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The infection rarely spreads. It may get better on its own.


Habif TP. Bacterial infections. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2009:chap 9.

Millet CR, Halpern AV, Reboli AC, Heymann WR. Bacterial diseases. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, et al, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 74.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 11/12/2014
  • Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, dermatologist in private practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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