Erythrasma is a bacterial infection usually seen between moist skin folds. It usually occurs to people who are overweight, diabetic and to people living in moist or dry climatic condition because in hot or moist season when the overlapping areas of skin become moist then bacteria can easily attack that area.
It is most common in tropics. It usually occurs between third and fourth toes, armpits, under breast and groin. Erythrasma is often confused with impetigo, which appears mostly in hand and face; infection with tinea, a fungal disease; jock itch and inverse psoriasis. Infection may spread to anal or torso area. The presence of corynebacterium minutissimum in warm or moist condition is the main cause for erythrasma.
Symptoms of Erythrasma:
The main telltale sign is the presence of irregular shaped pink patches between overlapping area of skin. The patches turn into fine brown patches with sharp borders. There is mild itching and the patches look wrinkled and scaly. Under an ultra violet radiation, the patches glows like coral red.
Diagnosis of Erythrasma:
Sometimes doctors cannot identify whether these patches are because of erythrasma or not so he performs certain tests to help make the diagnosis. There are 3 important tests: KOH test which identifies the fungal elements; Wood’s Lamp Examination test in which the infected area is examined under UV light of wood lamp; and Skin Biopsy in which a sample of tissue is examined under a microscope and the bacteria can be identified in the upper layer of specimen.
Precaution and Treatment of Erythrasma:
It is essential to keep the skin clean of germs and dust particles. Some precautions advisable are: wearing clean absorbent clothes and keeping the skin dry; maintaining healthy body weight and general hygiene; avoiding excessive moisture or heat and using anti-bacterial soap for all purposes.
Similarly, some methods of erythrasma treatment asks for mentioning such as having erythromycin pills (under a doctor’s supervision); scrubbing the infected area with antibacterial soaps; using topical fusiden acid three times daily for a period of seven days; using antibiotics like oral erythromycin and clarithromycin; and applying anti-fungal creams such as miconazole, econazole, and clotrimazole.