Erysipelas (from two Greek words signifying a red skin), or St. Antony's Fire, a febrile affection associated with inflammation of the skin. The affected part (usually the head or face) is swollen, red, hot, and raised above the surrounding skin.
Erysipelas usually occurs in connection with a wound (traumatic erysipelas). It is sometimes attended with high fever and much constitutional disturbance. One attack of the disease does not, as in the case of scarlet fever, measles, etc., protect the individual against subsequent attacks, but on the contrary, seems to render him predisposed to further occurrences of the malady. Erysipelas appears to be due to the invasion and growth within the body of a germ, the micrococcus erysipelatos. The disease used to be of common occurrence where large numbers Of persons suffering from wounds were grouped together, but of late years the advances made in antiseptic surgery have greatly minimised the mischief formerly wrought by the disorder in hospitals.