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Erythrasma: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

  • Erythrasma is a skin condition that causes red or brown patches to appear on the skin. 
how to say erythrasma

  • Many people have erythrasma, however, some people are predisposed to it.

Causes Of Erythrasma

  • The bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum causes erythrasma, a skin ailment. Erythrasma is often referred to as cutaneous erythrasma. 
  • It is frequently a chronic or long-term medical issue. ‌
  • Erythrasma can affect anyone, however, it is most frequent in adults and men.
  • People who live in hot, humid settings are more prone to developing erythrasma.
  • Other people with certain medical issues may be affected.

Who are Prone to have Erythrasma

  • People with these medical conditions are at risk to develop Erythrasma

    • Bad hygiene level
    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Elderly
    • Weak immune system

Erythrasma Types

  • Cutaneous erythrasma is classified into three categories.

1. Erythrasma between the fingers

  • This is a bacterial infection of the feet. It typically occurs between your last two toes. 
  • People can get fungal infections on their feet at the same time. ‌


2. Erythrasma intertriginous

  • This type affects the parts of your skin that contact and rub together. It is more common in patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • This illness can form in the folds of extra fat on your stomach or legs, where the skin chafes.


3. Generalized erythrasma

  • This variety is also known as Erythrasma disciform. It is uncommon and can manifest itself anywhere on your body. 
  • Women who reside in tropical climates are predisposed to this type.


Erythrasma Symptoms

  • Most people have erythrasma, which is characterized by a change in their skin. This can take the form of red, pink, or brown spots. Scaly skin, Cracking skin, particularly on your feet, Softened or macerated skin, as well as wrinkled skin
  • Many persons with erythrasma do not exhibit any symptoms. Some people may experience burning and itching, especially if they have a groin infection.


Differential Diagnosis Of Erythrasma

  • Erythrasma can resemble other skin conditions, so your doctor may order tests to rule them out. Tinea versicolor, Inverse psoriasis, Candidiasis, Dermatophytosis, Seborrheic dermatitis, or Pityriasis rotunda are all possible diagnoses.


How Diagnosis for Erythrasma

  • Diagnosis Of erythrasma is made by a clinical exam. However, investigations are possible.

1. Wood’s lamp

  • The erythrasma wood lamp test is noninvasive and uses a lamp to shine ultraviolet light on your skin. The bacteria that cause erythrasma make compounds called porphyrins that are red fluorescence under the light. ‌
  • Sometimes other bacteria or fungi can also show up under the light.
  • This might give you a false positive. Your doctor might use other tests to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other problems.

2. Hydroxide of potassium

  • This is also known as a KOH preparation test. Your skin will be scraped and the pieces will be placed on a microscope slide by your doctor.
  • They will study the skin cells under a microscope after adding potassium hydroxide to them.
  • This will assist in determining whether the infection is bacterial or fungal.

3. Biopsy of the skin

  • Your dermatologist may perform a biopsy by removing a small sample of your skin and sending it to a lab for examination.
  • This is uncommon and may be performed only if other tests are negative or you are not responding to treatment.


Treatment for Erythrasma

  • Your doctor will prescribe medication to treat your skin infection. This could be a cream, but if your infection is serious, you may be given medicines as well.

1. Medicines For Erythrasma

  • Erythrasma treatments include:

    • A cream containing fusidic acid
    • Clindamycin ointment
    • Cream erythromycin
    • Mupirocin lotion
    • Whitfield's cream
    • Clarithromycin capsules
    • Tetracycline tablets
    • Erythromycin capsules
    • Peroxybenzoyl peroxide

  • Other self-care techniques to assist your skin may be suggested by your doctor.

2. Good hygiene

  • Use good hygiene procedures. Maintain a clean and dry environment in the afflicted region.
  • You can use conventional soap or an antibacterial soap containing aluminum chloride or chlorhexidine to wash your skin.


3. Over-the-counter medications

  • Over-the-counter medicines that relieve itchiness and irritation can be used to treat erythrasma. 
  • This may include the use of hydrocortisone cream or miconazole cream.


4. Wear light clothing

  • Wear light, loose cotton clothing if you live in a hot, humid region to help with perspiration. 
  • This will help to wick sweat away from your body. Try to stay in cool or shaded areas. Maintain a cool temperature in your home as well.


5. Baby powder

  • You can apply baby powder to areas that are always damp like your groin, armpits, or larger skin folds.


6. Eat a healthy diet

  • Diabetes is a major contributor to getting erythrasma. It’s important to eat a healthy diet and limit sugar. 



  • Erythrasma is a common skin condition. Sometimes it can come back again after you’ve treated it. If your skin changes, make sure to talk to your doctor for help.


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