[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Other Articles
July 15, 1961

Erythrasma—Common Bacterial Infection of the Skin

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Sarkany was on a year's leave of absence from the Royal Free Hospital, London, when this study was carried out.

JAMA. 1961;177(2):130-132. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040280001009

SINCE its first description by Burchardt in 1859,1 erythrasma has been grouped among the diseases due to fungus. We have recently succeeded in culturing repeatedly a gram-positive bacillus from the scales of erythrasma,2 and we have shown that the disease responds to treatment with certain systemically administered antibacterial antibiotics. As a result of these and other findings, this condition should now be considered of bacterial origin.

Clinical Forms and Incidence  The classical genitocrural form of erythrasma is seen more often in men than women and is characterized by dry, irregularly shaped, well-defined, reddish to brownish, finely scaling, and slightly wrinkled patches on the inner thighs below the crural fold. The left side is generally more markedly involved because of contact with the scrotum, which is usually affected by the disease process. In addition to the genitocrural regions, the pubis and axillae, the intergluteal clefts, and submammary regions