Erythrasma in the skin. Erythrasma is a skin condition recognized by red to light brown spots of various sizes with irregular boundaries. The spots can itch and flake slightly.
The condition mainly occurs in the skin folds, for example in the groins, and can spread to the thighs and external sexual organs. But can also be located in the armpits, the buttock, between the toes and in women under the breasts.
In addition to a brown-red discolored, somewhat scaly, itchy skin, erythrasma gives few symptoms. The discoloration can be experienced as very unsightly. People can feel very insecure if the places are clearly visible to others. The skin condition is recognizable because the spots show coral red under ultraviolet light. Without treatment, erythrasma is a condition with a long-term course.
The diagnosis is made on the basis of the detection of a certain bacterium in the skin. This bacterium is called the Corynebacterium minutissimum. The bacteria are recognized by microscopic examination, or by growing the bacteria.
A skin condition in the same places as with erythrasma can also be the result of an infection with the yeast Candida albicans. This condition is accompanied by redness, pimples, and blisters. In the skin folds of the body, especially in infants or bedridden patients, “blemish” (intertrigo) can also occur. This is an eczema reaction of the skin in places where it is exposed to heat, moisture and wears due to certain movements.
How does erythrasma arise?
Erythrasma is an infection with the bacterium Corynebacterium minutissimum. This bacterium belongs to the normal skin flora and thrives very well in a moist, warm environment. The risk of such an infection, for example, is greater in the tropics and / or when overweight.
Reduced resistance to infections promotes the occurrence of the skin condition. This skin condition is therefore seen more often in patients suffering from diabetes, or in people undergoing treatment that reduces resistance. This is the case, for example, with adrenal bark preparations and chemotherapy.
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Erythrasma is not a serious skin condition. However, some people with this condition find it unsightly and therefore experience it as a nuisance. The condition is hardly contagious and must be distinguished from other skin conditions. Erythrasma can in principle be treated well.
When to the doctor?
Erythrasma is harmless and gives few complaints. In people who experience the colored spots on their skin as unsightly, the condition is often treated. If you suffer from red-brown skin disease, you can always consult your doctor about this.
What can you do about it yourself?
If you suffer from this condition, it is best to wash with antibacterial soap, supplemented with an antibiotic or antifungal cream (Micanozol cream 2% or Fusidic acid cream 2% twice a day) for two weeks. Antibiotic therapy is often recommended for persistent infection.