Erythrasma Preventive Measures and Treatment | Dermatology


What is erythrasma?

Erythrasma is a mutual skin illness that affects the skin folds under the arms, in the groin, and between the toes.

Who gets erythrasma?

Erythrasma affects both men and women but is believed to be more common in the groin of men and between the toes of women.

It is reported to be more frequent in the following circumstances:

  • Warm weather
  • Excessive sweating
  • Coloured skin
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Poor hygiene
  • Advanced age
  • Other immunosuppressed states.

Erythrasma symptoms

Erythrasma looks like a pink to the red patch of scaly skin. The border of the erythrasma is well defined, which means that there is a sharp border between the affected patch and the surrounding normal skin. Over the phase, the pink or red colour fades to tan or brown.

Erythrasma is classically located in moist body folds such as:

  • Under the arms (armpits)
  • In the groin and inner thighs
  • Between the toes, particularly between the fourth and fifth toes

Less commonly, erythrasma can be found in the cleft of the buttocks or in the folds under the breasts. In certain people, especially those with diabetes, the infection can become general and affect the trunk, arms, and legs.

Erythrasma frequently causes no symptoms, but some persons report mild itching or burning, especially in the groin area.

Causes of erythrasma

  1. Minutissimum is considered a relatively harmless bacteria that the immune system is usually able to control. It will only cause infection if the right conditions give the bacteria a chance to thrive. It may be because a skin fold provides the right environment for bacterial colonization or that the immune system is suppressed and less able to control infection.

Usually speaking, you are more likely to develop erythrasma if:

  • Lives in a humid tropical or subtropical climate1
  • Excessive sweating (known as hyperhidrosis)
  • Having poor hygiene
  • Are older
  • You have HIV or other forms of immunosuppression.
  • Taking immunosuppressive medications to treat an autoimmune disorder or prevent organ rejection.
  • They are obese
  • You have diabetes

Obesity is known to decrease the body’s response to infections while providing more skin folds to found an infection. Similarly, generalized infections are associated with poorly controlled diabetes.

In total, about 4 per cent of the world’s populace will experience erythrasma at least once in their lifetime, chiefly those who live in tropical or subtropical regions.

Erythrasma diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam to begin the diagnostic process. Next, your doctor will perform a Wood’s lamp skin exam. This lamp uses ultraviolet radiation to appear on your skin. Under this lamp, the erythrasma will have a red or coral colour.

Your doctor may take a swab or skin argument to inspect the cultures more closely under a microscope.

Erythrasma treatment

Treatment will be contingent on the severity of your condition. Your doctor may recommend any of the next treatments:

  • Oral antibiotics, such as erythromycin (erythrocin stearate)
  • Cleaning the affected area with antibiotic soap
  • Applying fusidic acid to the skin
  • Antibacterial solutions or creams on the skin, such as clindamycin HCL solution, erythromycin cream, or miconazole cream (Lotrimin, Cruex)
  • Red light therapy

Treatment may income for two to four weeks to work. It may essential to try a combination of treatments.

Topical creams and solutions are usually used first. Oral antibiotics are added if the first few treatments don’t work. Occasionally a combination of oral and topical treatments is necessary. In some cases, treating the underlying disease, such as diabetes, can also help.


You may be able to reduce the risk of erythrasma by:

  • Bathe or shower frequently
  • Keep your skin dry
  • Use clean clothes that absorb moisture
  • Avoid extremely hot or humid conditions
  • Maintain a healthy body weight


Erythrasma is usually self-limited. It can be complicated by contact dermatitis, lichenification, post-inflammatory pigmentation, and co-infection with other bacteria, yeasts, and dermatophytes.

Serious complications are very rare. Corynebacteria have been reported to cause abscesses, cellulitis, cutaneous granuloma, endocarditis, pyelonephritis, endophthalmitis, arteriovenous fistula infection, and meningitis.

Risk factors

You are more likely to develop this disease if:

  • Has diabetes
  • Living in a hot or humid climate
  • Sweat a lot
  • They are obese
  • They are older
  • Have bad hygiene
  • Have a medicinal condition that moves the immune system

It is more common in hot, humid climates. It is understood mainly in tropical and subtropical areas. It can affect people of any age, but it is most common in older adults.

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