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What is phlegmon?

Phlegmon (from the Greek. phlegmone fever, inflammation) - acute diffuse purulent inflammation of the adipose tissue with a tendency to a rapid expansion of cellular spaces and involvement in the purulent process of muscles, tendons.

Phlegmon may develop in the subcutaneous tissue and fascia under the aponeurosis, in the submucosa and muscle tissue, and in rough weather during the capture range of anatomical regions, such as the thigh, buttocks and lumbar area, the perineum, the anterior abdominal wall. If the abscess develops in the tissue surrounding a particular unit, then to indicate the name of the disease are composed of the prefix "para" and the Latin name of the body of inflammation (inflammation paranephritis perirenal fat, the parameters of inflammation of the pelvic tissue, and so etc.).

Phlegmon is an independent disease, but may also be a complication of various septic processes (carbuncle, abscess, sepsis, etc.).

The causes of phlegmon

Development phlegmon due to soft tissue penetration of pathogens. Pathogens are usually staphylococcus and streptococcus, but can also be caused by other pyogenic microbes that penetrate the tissue through accidental damage to the skin, mucous membranes or through blood.

Purulent abscess caused by pyogenic germs, staphylococcus, streptococcus, pseudomonas, etc. With the penetration of the tissues of E. coli, Proteus vulgaris, Streptococcus putrid putrid abscess develops. The most severe form of phlegmon cause obligate anaerobes that multiply in the absence of oxygen. Blowing spore-forming anaerobes (clostridia) and nonspore anaerobes (peptococcus, peptostreptococcus, Bacteroides) have an extremely aggressive properties, and therefore the development of inflammation in the soft tissues and its distribution occur very quickly.

Phlegmon may also be caused by introducing into the skin of various chemicals (turpentine, kerosene, gasoline, etc.).

Manifestations of phlegmon

Adrift distinguish between acute and chronic phlegmon, localization subcutaneous, subfascial, intermuscular, organ, between the organ, retroperitoneal, pelvic, etc. Acute phlegmon are characterized by rapid onset, high fever (40 degrees and above), weakness, thirst, rapid emergence and spread of a painful swelling, redness spilled over her pain, impaired function of the affected part of the body.

Swelling increases, the skin over it turns red, shiny. When the feeling is determined painful seal without clear boundaries, still, hot to the touch. As a result, you can define a sense of softening in the seal area or develop a fistula.

Often there are malignant forms of the stream when the process is progressing rapidly, capturing large areas of subcutaneous, intramuscular fat and is accompanied by severe intoxication.

With secondary development of phlegmon (osteomyelitis, purulent arthritis, purulent pleurisy, peritonitis, etc.) necessary to identify the underlying disease.

When the serous phlegmon, fiber has a gelatinous appearance, soaked muddy watery fluid around the periphery of the inflammatory process with no clear boundary goes into the unmodified tissue. With the progression of the process of impregnating the soft tissue increases dramatically, the fluid becomes purulent. The process may extend to the muscles, tendons, bones. Muscles become gray, yellow-green impregnated with pus, do not bleed.

Putrid abscess, characterized by the development of multiple sites in the tissue necrosis, tissue melting, copious purulent discharge, with fetid odor.

For anaerobic phlegmon, a common characteristic of serous inflammation of the soft tissues, extensive areas of necrosis (necrosis) in the tissues and the formation of multiple gas bubbles.

Chronic abscess is characterized by the appearance of the infiltrate woody density, the skin over which becomes bluish tint due to penetration through a wound weakly infectious microbes.

One of the types of chronic phlegmon is a woody abscess (abscess Reclus) - the result of infection by microorganisms floor of the mouth and oropharynx. Characterized by the appearance of painless, "hard as a board", infiltrate the soft tissues of the neck.

Complications of phlegmon

Complications developed, where the process is not stopped in time. This is due either to late referral patient, or with difficulties in diagnosis.

Phlegmon, which arose initially, can lead to several complications (lymphadenitis, lymphangitis, erysipelas, thrombosis, sepsis, etc.). The spread of the surrounding tissue leads to the development of purulent arthritis, tenosynovitis and other septic conditions. Facial phlegmon may be complicated by progressive facial vein thrombophlebitis and purulent meningitis.


Prevention is to prevent microtrauma at work and at home, immediate first aid for wounds, microtraumas, invading foreign bodies.

Prompt treatment of pyoderma and other local sites of infection.

What can a doctor do?

Patients hospitalized for phlegmon necessarily.

The main treatment is surgery phlegmon. Early surgical intervention to prevent significant spread of purulent process and the development of general purulent intoxication.

In the postoperative period than active local treatment is necessary to conduct intensive intravenous fluid therapy, targeted antibiotic treatment therapies.

What can you do?

With the emergence of the symptoms described above, you should immediately consult a doctor. Phlegmon - an acute disease spread rapidly, and if there is a decrease in immunity, the disease can lead to irreversible consequences, including death.