What Is Erythrasma

What Is Erythrasma?

Erythrasma (or erythrodermolysis) is a condition where the body produces excessive amounts of abnormal white blood cells called eosinophils. These are normally found in small numbers in your lungs, but when they become overactive, they produce large quantities of these harmful white blood cells which can lead to other problems such as pneumonia or even death.

The exact cause of erythrasma is not known, however it is thought to be caused by many factors including:

Other diseases like tuberculosis or HIV infection

Chemicals like pesticides and flame retardants in carpets and furniture

Environmental pollution from cigarette smoke, asbestos fibers, or certain drugs used during chemotherapy.


Source: Wikipedia What Are Erythrases? How Do They Affect You?

Erythrasmas are harmless at first glance, but if left untreated, they can lead to a variety of health issues including:

Coughing up blood (as in asthma)

Fever and chills (as in influenza)

A swollen throat (as in pharyngitis)

Difficulty breathing due to congestion of the airways (as in bronchiolitis obliterans).

The symptoms of erythrasma are non-specific, and it may be mistaken for other mild conditions like chest colds. This condition is most common in people with decreased immune systems, such as those who have HIV or problems in the spleen.

Other people who are susceptible to developing erythrasma are those who have had previous chest surgery, been exposed to certain toxic chemicals, or have a history of smoking.

How Do You Get Erythrasm?

Erythrasma is a skin infection caused by a bacteria called erythrasma, and it is typically spread through direct contact with another person. This bacteria can live in the top layer of a person’s skin, and the following are some ways through which erythrasma may be spread:

Skin-to-skin contact

Sharing towels or bed sheets with an infected person

A person who has this condition may release the bacteria into the air through coughing or sneezing. If another person comes in contact with these bacteria, they may become infected.

Who Gets Erythrasm?

People with the following medical conditions are more at risk of developing erythrasma:




Immune deficiency syndrome (where the immune system is not working properly)


Tuberculosis or other diseases that affect the lungs or throat.

How Is Erythrasm Diagnosed?

Sources & references used in this article:

The etiology and treatment of erythrasma by I Sarkany, D Taplin, H Blank – Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 1961 – core.ac.uk

Management of cutaneous erythrasma by MR Holdiness – Drugs, 2002 – Springer

Erythrasma and diabetes mellitus by LF Montes, H Dobson, BG Dodge… – Archives of …, 1969 – jamanetwork.com

Incidence and bacteriology of erythrasma by I Sarkany, D Taplin, H Blank – Archives of Dermatology, 1962 – jamanetwork.com

Erythrasma—common bacterial infection of the skin by I Sarkany, D Taplin, H Blank – JAMA, 1961 – jamanetwork.com

Erythrasma treated with single-dose clarithromycin by JR Wharton, PL Wilson, JM Kincannon – Archives of dermatology, 1998 – jamanetwork.com