necrotizing fasciitis may develop quickly, often as
soon as 24 hours after a minor skin injury. The rapid onset of symptoms is one of the most important clues that you may need immediate
medical care. Another common feature of this disease is pain that is greater
than you would expect from the wound or injury.
fasciitis most commonly affects extremities, particularly the legs, but can
affect any part of the body. When necrotizing fasciitis occurs in the area of
the genitals, it is called
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Redness, heat, swelling, or fluid-filled blisters in the
skin over the affected area. If the infection is deep in the tissue, these
signs of inflammation may not develop right away.
Later symptoms may include:
Signs of shock (including confusion, fainting,
or dizziness), which are often worse when you get up from sitting or lying
down. These symptoms are caused by a drop in blood
Scaling, peeling, or discolored skin over the affected
area, which are signs of tissue death, or
A common entry point for the bacteria is through a wound
such as a burn, cut, scrape, or insect bite. Within 24 hours after the bacteria
have entered the wound, swelling, heat, redness, and tenderness spread quickly
from the original wound site. Within 24 to 48 hours after spreading, the
redness may darken to purple and then to blue. Blisters containing yellow fluid
may also form. Within 4 to 5 days after the initial infection, gangrene
develops. Within 7 to 10 days, dead skin separates from healthy skin as the
infection continues to spread into other tissue. Certain strains of bacteria
(such as streptococci) can be more aggressive, shortening the entire process to
2 to 4 days.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
December 06, 2007
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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