Medical Illustrations

Picture of Necrotizing Fasciitis

Picture of Necrotizing Fasciitis

Necrotizing fasciitis, sometimes referred to by the name as "flesh-eating bacteria" is a condition in which bacteria infect and destroy the skin, subcutaneous fat, and fascia. Fascia is part of connective tissue. The infection may spread very quickly and even be fatal. Several different types of bacterial species may cause this type of infection including E coli, Clostridium, Staphylococcus aureus, and others. Sometimes several different types of bacteria cause the infection.

The illness may start with flu-like symptoms including a high fever, chills, body aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Affected skin will be red and tender. The initial lesion will grow at a rapid rate. Prompt diagnosis and treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics and surgical removal of dead tissue decreases the risk of serious complications and the possibility of death.

Image Source: MedicineNet, Inc.

Text Reference: National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Necrotizing Fasciitis"