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עמוד בית
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March 2018
Michal Solomon MD, Aviv Barzilai MD, Hila Elphasy MD, Henri Trau MD and Sharon Baum MD

Background: Erysipelas, an acute infection of the dermal and subcutaneous tissue, is normally treated with antibiotics. Previous data indicated that treatment with prednisone in combination with antibiotics results in significant acceleration of the healing phase.

Objectives: To investigate the effectiveness of corticosteroids combined with antibiotics for the treatment of erysipelas.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on hospitalized patients diagnosed with erysipelas between 2004 and 2011 at the Department of Dermatology at Sheba Medical Center, Israel. Data included epidemiology, medical background, and course of the disease as documented at admission and during hospitalization. 

Results: Data were collected on 173 patients (66% males) who were divided into two groups: a control group treated with antibiotics only (97 patients) and a study group treated with antibiotics and prednisone (76 patients). The study group presented with a more severe form of erysipelas (bullous) and those patients were hospitalized for a longer period (8.5 vs. 7 days). Nevertheless, the study group exhibited a 71% clinical improvement shortly after being treated with prednisone, without significant side effects. Short-term follow-up revealed more edema in the study group; however, long-term follow-up revealed a higher incidence of erythema and recurrence of erysipelas in the control group. The return to full function was faster in the study group than in the control group. 

Conclusions: Combining prednisone with antibiotics for the treatment of erysipelas should be considered, especially in severe cases. In addition, a prospective double-blind study should be conducted to verify these conclusions.

June 2002
Jacob Bickels, MD, Yehuda Kollender, MD and Isaac Meller, MD
October 2001
Jihad Bishara, MD, Avivit Golan-Cohen, MD, Eyal Robenshtok, MD, Leonard Leibovici, MD and Silvio Pitlik, MD

Background: Erysipelas is a skin infection generally caused by group A streptococci. Although penicillin is the drug of choice, some physicians tend to treat erysipelas with antibiotics other than penicillin.

Objectives: To define the pattern of antibiotic use, factors affecting antibiotic selection, and outcome of patients treated with penicillin versus those treated with other antimicrobial agents.

Methods: A retrospective review of charts of adult patients with discharge diagnosis of erysipelas was conducted for the years 1993-1996.

Results: The study group comprised 365 patients (median age 67 years). In 76% of the cases infection involved the leg/s. Predisposing condition/s were present in 82% of cases. Microorganisms were isolated from blood cultures in only 6 of 176 cases (3%), and Streptococcus spp. was recovered in four of these six patients. Cultures from skin specimens were positive in 3 of 23 cases. Penicillin alone was given to 164 patients (45%). Other antibiotics were more commonly used in the second half of the study period (P < 0.0001) in patients with underlying conditions (P = 0.06) and in those hospitalized in the dermatology ward (P< 0.0001). Hospitalization was significantly shorter in the penicillin group (P= 0.004). There were no in-hospital deaths.

Conclusions: We found no advantage in using antibiotics other than penicillin for treating erysipelas. The low yield of skin and blood cultures and their marginal impact on manage­ment, as well as the excellent outcome suggest that this infection can probably be treated empirically on an outpatient basis.
 

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