Erysipelas and Cellulitis: A Retrospective Study of 122 Cases

Departamento de Dermatología, Facultad de Medicina, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, España.
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas 12/2009; 100(10):888-94. DOI: 10.1016/S1578-2190(09)70560-8
Source: PubMed


Erysipelas and cellulitis are relatively common cutaneous infections that can sometimes be the cause of a prolonged hospital admission. The objective of this study was to determine the most relevant epidemiologic factors and their influence on the length of hospital stay, comparing our results with those of previous studies.
We performed a retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study of 122 patients admitted over a 5-year period to the dermatology department of our hospital with a diagnosis of erysipelas or cellulitis.
Patients with a diagnosis of erysipelas or cellulitis represented 8.6% of all admissions during the study period. The mean age was 58.93 years and the female to male ratio was 1.06:1. The most common site of involvement was on the legs (76.22%). Overweight or obesity was present in 42.6% of patients and tinea pedis was detected in 33.6% of cases. A skin abscess developed in 7.4% of cases. The mean length of admission was 10.20 days; length of stay increased with age and with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) on admission (P < .01 for both differences).
We confirm general epidemiologic factors such as sex and age distributions, predominant site, past history, and length of hospital stay. In view of their predictive value for the length of hospital stay, we propose that age and the ESR on admission should be considered to be indirect indicators of disease severity.

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