Recurrences of erysipelas are especially prevalent in patients suffering from local impairment of circulation and intervention might thus be of benefit. Therefore a prospective, randomized, open study was undertaken to evaluate whether daily antibiotic prophylaxis would reduce the risk of recurrence. Patients with venous insufficiency or lymphatic congestion who had suffered two or more episodes of erysipelas during the previous 3 years and were admitted to the Infectious Disease Department at Roslagstull Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, between November 1988 and November 1991 were included. Fourty patients, 20 on prophylaxis and 20 controls were followed according to a life table analysis during a median time of 15 months. Phenoxymethylpenicillin was prescribed as daily prophylaxis (while erythromycin was given to patients allergic to penicillin). Recurrences of erysipelas appeared to be reduced by daily antibiotic prophylaxis but the effect was not dramatic (p = 0.06). Only in patients with a high recurrence rate continuous antibiotic prophylaxis against erysipelas is indicated.