Ecthyma is a skin infection similar to
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Ecthyma is most often caused by the Streptococcus bacteria. Sometimes, Staphylococcus bacteria causes this skin infection.
The infection may start in skin that has been injured due to a scratch or insect bite. The infection often develops on the legs.
Main symptom of ecthyma is a small
After the blister goes away, a crusty ulcer appears.
Signs and tests
Your doctor can usually diagnose this condition simply by looking at your skin. In rare cases, the fluid inside the blister is sent to a lab for closer examination, or a
Your doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics that you need to take by mouth (oral antibiotics). Very early cases may be treated with antibiotics that you apply to the affected area (topical antibiotics). Serious infections may need antibiotics given through a vein (intravenous antibiotics).
Placing a warm, wet cloth over the area can help remove ulcer crusts. Your doctor may recommend antiseptic soap or peroxide washes to speed recovery.
Unlike impetigo, ecthyma can sometimes result in scarring.
- Spread of infection to other parts of the body
- Permanent skin damage with scarring
Calling your health care provider
Make an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of ecthyma.
Carefully clean the skin after an injury such as a bite or scratch. Do not scratch or pick at scabs and sores.