BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuEcthymaStreptococcus - ecthyma; Strep - ecthyma; Staphylococcus - ecthyma; Staph - ecthyma; Skin infection - ecthymaEcthyma is a skin infection. It is similar to impetigo, but occurs deep inside the skin. For this reason, ecthyma is often called deep impetigo.ImpetigoImpetigo is a common skin infection.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Causes Ecthyma is most often caused by the streptococcus bacteria. Sometimes, staphylococcus bacteria cause this skin infection on its own or in combination with streptococcus.The infection may start in skin that has been injured due to a scratch, rash, or insect bite. The infection often develops on the legs. People with diabetes or a weakened immune system are more prone to ecthyma. Symptoms Main symptom of ecthyma is a small blister with a red border that may be filled with pus. The blister is similar to that seen with impetigo, but the infection spreads much deeper into the skin.BlisterA vesicle is a small fluid-filled blister on the skin.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article After the blister goes away, a crusty ulcer appears. Exams and Tests Your health care provider 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 skin biopsy needs to be done.Skin biopsyA skin lesion biopsy is when a small amount of skin is removed so it can be examined. The skin is tested to look for skin conditions or diseases. A...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Your provider 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 provider may recommend antiseptic soap or peroxide washes to speed recovery. Outlook (Prognosis) Ecthyma can sometimes result in scarring. Possible Complications This condition may lead to:Spread of infection to other parts of the body Permanent skin damage with scarring When to Contact a Medical Professional Make an appointment with your provider if you have symptoms of ecthyma. Prevention Carefully clean the skin after an injury, such as a bite or scratch. Do not scratch or pick at scabs and sores.Open ReferencesReferencesJames WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM. Bacterial infections. In: James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 14.Pasternack MS, Swartz MN. Cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, and subcutaneous tissue infections. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 93.AllVideoImagesTogEcthyma - illustration Ecthyma is a skin infection similar to impetigo, but more deeply invasive. Usually caused by a streptococcus infection, ecthyma goes through the outer layer (epidermis) to the deeper layer (dermis) of skin, possibly causing scars.EcthymaillustrationEcthyma - illustration Ecthyma is a skin infection similar to impetigo, but more deeply invasive. Usually caused by a streptococcus infection, ecthyma goes through the outer layer (epidermis) to the deeper layer (dermis) of skin, possibly causing scars.EcthymaillustrationRelated Information Impetigo(Condition) Review Date: 5/2/2021 Reviewed By: Anna C. Edens Hurst, MD, MS, Associate Professor in Medical Genetics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.