Lymphangitis

Inflammation of a lymph vessel caused by infection in the area that it drains. The condition is sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning, which term should only be used if bacteria are present in the blood. Lymphangitis can occur whenever there is bacterial infection of the skin, because bacteria can enter the lymph duct. Generally the condition is associated with lymphadenitis, because the bacteria are carried in the lymph to lymph nodes in the area. The characteristic symptom is a painful, red stripe on the skin connecting the site of the skin infection with the nearest large lymph nodes (in the groin or armpit, for example). The condition heals spontaneously if the skin infection is treated effectively – by antibiotics, for example.