Necrotizing fasciitis

What causes necrotizing fasciitis?

Anyone can develop necrotizing fasciitis. The most common cause is group A Streptococcus. Other types of bacteria that can cause necrotizing fasciitis include Klebsiella, Clostridium, and Escherichia coli. Approximately one-half of necrotizing fasciitis cases caused by streptococcal bacteria occur in young and otherwise healthy individuals. Although necrotizing fasciitis most frequently develops after trauma that causes a break in the skin, it can also develop after minor trauma that occurs without a break in the skin. Necrotizing fasciitis can occur as a complication of surgery; it can also occur at the site of a relatively minor injury such as an insect bite or an injection. In addition, underlying illnesses that weaken the immune system may increase the risk of necrotizing fasciitis. Some studies suggest a possible relationship between the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) during varicella infections and the development of necrotizing fasciitis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long-term outlook for people with necrotizing fasciitis?

If diagnosed and treated early, most patients will survive necrotizing fasciitis. If tissue loss is significant, skin grafting may be necessary. In some patients, amputation of the affected area is required. Up to 25% of patients will die from necrotizing fasciitis, due to complications such as kidney failure, blood poisoning (septicemia), and organ failure. The particular type of bacteria, the health of the patient, the location of the infection, and the speed of treatment can all influence the outcome.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might necrotizing fasciitis be treated?

Accurate and prompt diagnosis, treatment with intravenous (IV) antibiotics, and surgery to remove dead tissue are vital in treating necrotizing fasciitis. As the blood supply to the infected tissue becomes impaired, antibiotics often cannot penetrate the infected tissue. Therefore, surgery to remove the dead, damaged, or infected tissue is the primary treatment for necrotizing fasciitis. Early surgery may minimize tissue loss, eliminating the need for amputation of the infected body part. The choice of antibiotics will likely depend on the particular bacteria involved. In addition, supplemental oxygen, fluids, and medicines may be needed to raise the blood pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and IV immunoglobulin may also be considered, but their use in patients with necrotizing fasciitis is controversial.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation 31 Cloverhill Place
Montclair, NJ, 07042, United States
Phone: 862-213-5213 Email: Url:
Name: The Lee Spark NF Foundation Moor Hey Farm Knowle Green
Ribchester Preston PR3 2XE
United Kingdom
Phone: 01254 878701 Email: Url:
Name: The Limb Preservation Foundation 925 S Niagara Street Suite 610
Denver, CO, 80224,
Phone: (303) 429-0688 Email: Url:

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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