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Erysipelas is an acute, sometimes recurrent, skin infection frequently caused by group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in-hospital treatment of erysipelas using cephalosporin, oxacillin and ciprofloxacin. A retrospective quantitative cohort study was conducted to analyze the clinical effectiveness of cephalosporin, oxacillin and ciprofloxacin as first line antibiotics for patients hospitalized in Hospital de Base, São José do Rio Preto with erysipelas in the period 2000 to 2008. A total of 309 patients were hospitalized to treat erysipelas; 18 were treated with cephalosporin (three ceftriaxone, five cephalexin and nine cephalothin), 11 with ciprofloxacin and 17 with oxacillin. Treatment failure occurred in 11% of patients who took cephalosporin, 9% of the ciprofloxacin patients and no patients who were prescribed oxacillin. Oxacillin, ciprofloxacin and cephalosporin are therapeutic options for patients hospitalized with erysipelas.