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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Necrotizing fasciitis

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Necrotizing fasciitis is a serious bacterial infection of the skin, subcutaneous tissue (tissue just beneath the skin) and fascia. The infection can be sudden and fast-spreading. The bacteria involved enters the body through an external injury and attacks the surrounding tissues, eventually causing them to die. Early signs include flu-like symptoms and redness or pain around the infection site, followed by very high fever, severe pain, swelling and blistering. If the infection is not treated promptly, it may cause multiple organ failure and death. Treatment typically includes intravenous antibiotics; surgery to remove infected and dead tissue; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; and intravenous immune globulin therapy.[1][2]
Last updated: 5/16/2012


  1. Necrotizing Fasciitis. NORD. March 16, 2012; Accessed 5/16/2012.
  2. Vanessa Ngan. Necrotising fasciitis. DermNet NZ. June 29, 2011; Accessed 5/16/2012.
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Basic Information

  • You can obtain information on this topic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Necrotizing fasciitis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.