The clinical and microbiologic features of primary cutaneous infections by Yersinia enterocolitica are described in three children. Vesiculobullous lesions developed in two patients, and an intense granulation response followed incision and drainage. In the third child, cellulitis and abscess formation developed at the site of minor skin trauma. Y. enterocolitica isolates from the patients were extensively serologically, biochemically, and molecularly analyzed and compared with virulent Y. enterocolitica strains. The ability of the isolates to adhere to and invade eukaryotic cells was determined using in vitro assays; virulence was assessed by inoculation of suckling mice. The resulting data suggest that primary cutaneous infections by Y. enterocolitica involve strains that are as virulent as pathogenic gastrointestinal isolates.