Perianal streptococcal cellulitis
Perianal streptococcal cellulitis is an inflammation of the anus and rectum caused by Streptococcus bacteria.
Streptococcal proctitis; Proctitis - streptococcal
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Children can infect the skin around the anus while cleaning the area after using the toilet or by scratching with hands contaminated by secretions from their mouth or nose.
- Itching, pain, or bleeding with bowel movements
- Redness around the anus
Signs and tests
- Rectal swab culture
- Skin culture from rectal area
- Throat culture
The infection is treated with antibiotics for about 10 days, depending on how well and quickly it appears to be working. Penicillin is the most often used antibiotic in children who are not allergic to it.
Mupirocin can be applied directly to the skin (topical). It can be used along with other antibiotics, but should not be the only treatment.
Children usually recover quickly with antibiotic treatment. It is important to contact your health care provider if your child does not get better soon on antibiotics.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care 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 are increasing, call your health care provider immediately.
Take a full course of antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria from the affected site. Careful handwashing can help prevent this and other infections caused by bacteria carried in the nose and throat.
Gerber MA. Group A streptococcus. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 182.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.