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Condition

Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis

Symptoms, Doctors, Treatments, Research & More

Condition 101

What is the definition of Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis?

Perianal streptococcal cellulitis is an infection of the anus and rectum. The infection is caused by streptococcus bacteria.

What are the alternative names for Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis?

Streptococcal proctitis; Proctitis - streptococcal; Perianal streptococcal dermatitis

What are the causes for Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis?

Perianal streptococcal cellulitis usually occurs in children. It often appears during or after strep throat, nasopharyngitis, or streptococcal skin infection (impetigo).

The skin around the anus may get infected while a child wipes the area after using the toilet. The infection can also result from scratching the area with fingers that have bacteria from the mouth or nose.

What are the symptoms for Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis?

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Itching, pain, or bleeding with bowel movements
  • Redness around the anus

What are the current treatments for Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis?

The infection is treated with antibiotics for about 10 days, depending on how well and quickly they are working. Penicillin is the most often used antibiotic in children.

Topical medicine can be applied to the skin and is commonly used with other antibiotics, but it should not be the only treatment. Mupirocin is a common topical medicine used for this condition.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis?

Children usually recover quickly with antibiotic treatment. It is important to contact your provider if your child does not get better soon on antibiotics.

What are the possible complications for Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis?

Complications are rare, but may include:

  • Anal scarring, fistula, or abscess
  • Bleeding, discharge
  • Bloodstream or other streptococcal infections (including heart, joint, and bone)
  • Kidney disease (acute glomerulonephritis)
  • Severe skin and soft tissue infection (necrotizing fasciitis)

When should I contact a medical professional for Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis?

Call your child's provider if your child complains of pain in the rectal area, painful bowel movements, or other symptoms of perianal streptococcal cellulitis.

If your child is taking antibiotics for this condition and the area of redness gets worse, or the discomfort or fever is increasing, call your provider immediately.

How do I prevent Perianal Streptococcal Cellulitis?

Careful handwashing may help prevent this and other infections caused by bacteria carried in the nose and throat.

To prevent the condition from coming back, be sure your child finishes all the medicine the provider prescribes.

REFERENCES

Paller AS, Mancini AJ. Bacterial, mycobacterial, and protozoal infections of the skin. In: Paller AS, Mancini AJ, eds. Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 14.

Shulman ST, Reuter CH. Group A streptococcus. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 210.

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Clinical Trials

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