What Are the Types of Streptococcal Skin Infections?

Streptococcal skin infections, which are caused by group A streptococcus bacterium, include cellulitis, erysipelas, impetigo, scarlet fever and potentially life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis, according to Cleveland Clinic. Necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, is considered a severe group A strep infection that can potentially lead to shock, organ failure or death.

Cellulitis is inflammation of the skin and the deep tissues beneath the skin, states Cleveland Clinic. Cellulitis begins with a bruise, burn, cut or wound, typically on the arm or leg. Symptoms include fever, chills, swollen glands, and skin that blisters and is painful or red. Erysipelas symptoms include a hot red rash that has raised borders on the arms, legs and face. Impetigo, an infection of the top layers of the skin, typically occurs among children ages 2 to 6 years old. Impetigo most often occurs when strep bacteria enter the body through a cut, insect bite or wound.

Scarlet fever, which can follow strep throat, is transmitted through direct contact with mucus from the throat, saliva or fluid from the nose of an infected person, explains Cleveland Clinic. A person with scarlet fever has the symptoms of strep throat, but he also experiences a red rash on the abdomen, chest or most of the body. Bumps appear that are very small and rough, often compared to sandpaper. A flushed face with the area around the mouth remaining a normal color is another common symptom of scarlet fever.