Open Access Maced J Med Sci 2019 Mar 15;7(6):937-942. Epub 2019 Mar 15.
Acibadem Sistina Hospital, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.
Background: Erysipelas is a common infectious skin disease. A typical feature of erysipelas, especially on the lower limbs, is the tendency to reoccur and the study aimed to define the comorbidities associated with it.
Aim: We aimed to investigate systemic and local comorbidities in patients diagnosed with erysipelas on the lower limbs.
Material And Methods: We conducted a retrospectively-prospective, population-based cohort study which included all patients diagnosed with erysipelas on the lower limbs, during two years. Patients were divided into two groups: patients with first episode and patients with recurrent erysipelas. These two groups were compared, with particular emphasis on systemic and local comorbidities.
Results: The study included 313 patients, of which 187 with the first episode of erysipelas and 126 with a recurrent. Regarding the analyzed systemic risk factors, the recurrent erysipelas was significantly associated with obesity (p < 0.0001), insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (p = 0.0015), history of malignant disease (p = 0.02) and tonsillectomy (p = 0.000001). For a p-value < 0.0001, significantly more frequent finding of peripheral arterial occlusive disease, chronic oedema/lymphoedema, fungal infections of the affected leg and chronic ulcer was confirmed in recurrent erysipelas. Neuropathy had 23% of the recurrent cases and 8.6% in patients without recurrence, and the difference was found to be significant for p = 0.0003. The only dissection of the lymph nodes was found more frequently in recurrent erysipelas (p = 0.017), but no associations with other analysed local surgery on the affected leg. Patients with recurrent erysipelas had ipsilateral coexisting dermatitis p = 0.00003 significantly more frequent. Minor trauma often preceded the first episode of erysipelas p = 0.005.
Conclusion: Identification and treatment of modifiable risk factors are expected to reduce the risk of a subsequent episode of erysipelas on the lower limbs.