– Acute, spreading inflammation of the skin, due to blood-poisoning; often originating in a small wound or sore. It sometimes goes on to the formation of matter or blebs. It is attended with much burning heat, and the digestion is disordered, the tongue being loaded.
Erysipelas generally comes on with a shivering fit and symptoms of indigestion. In this stage it cannot be distinguished from many fevers and acute inflammations but very soon the rash appears, generally at some part where there is a slight abrasion, often on the face and near the nose. The eruption has sharply defined borders, in red, raised, and at times has blisters, and tends to spread. It is often accompanied with great pain, a splitting, throbbing headache, nausea and vomiting. Often the face is swollen out of all recognizable proportions. It may attack the throat. It often follows surgical operations. Persons of all ages are liable to it. Erysipelas may become chronic, and it almost always leaves behind it a tendency to recur.
Diagnosis. – When the rash is out, erysipelas cannot easily be mistaken for anything else. Abscess near a tooth with swelled face is something like it, but the swollen gum will reveal its true nature. Erythema is less intense, the eruption is in spots and not continuous, and there is much less constitutional disturbance.
General Treatment. – The patient must be kept on fever diet, all solid food being forbidden; and the part must be kept from the air by dusting with flour.
Medicines. – (Every hour, or less often, according to urgency.)
Belladonna – Smooth erysipelas; heat, redness, burning, swelling, headache, hot dry skin; restlessness; delirium.
– If blisters form; generally commences on right side and goes to left; patient is restless.
– Burning and stinging pain, much swelling, patient do not like to be touched; are ill-humoured; cannot bear warm room. (Not to be given before or after Rhus.)
– When there is great prostration; tendency to gangrene.
– When there is suppuration.
– Chronic and recurring erysipelas.