Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that can be potentially serious. This condition typically appears as a swollen and red rash that is painful and warm to the touch. Cellulitis usually occurs on the skin located at the lower legs but can also occur in other parts of the body such as the face and arms. Cellulitis arises if bacteria enters your body through a break in your skin. If left untreated, cellulitis can be life-threatening as it can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream. Cellulitis is however not contagious, which means it cannot spread from person to person.
Cellulitis is a common disease and can affect anyone at any age or race, however, cellulitis is more common in middle-aged and elderly people.
At times, cellulitis appears in the area where there is a break in the skin, such as skin near surgical wounds or skin ulcers.
The common types of bacteria responsible for cellulitis are named Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, but there are other types of bacteria that can also cause cellulitis from happening.
Common causes of cellulitis:
- Injuries that tear or break the skin
- Infections that occur after surgery
- Skin conditions like eczema or chickenpox
- Dirty foreign objects in the skin
- Bone infections
Signs and symptoms of cellulitis:
- An area of the skin that is discolored red that tends to expand
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Red spots on the skin
- Formation of blisters on the skin
- Skin dimpling
There are numerous risk factors that contribute to increasing the chances of contracting cellulitis, these include:
- A break in the skin
- Circulatory problems
- Liver disease
- Skin disorders like eczema
It is important that you know how to identify the signs and symptoms of cellulitis and once you do, you should seek medical attention immediately. Seek immediate care if:
- You notice a red, swollen rash on your skin that rapidly changes in size
- You develop a fever with the symptoms
You should still see your doctor even you don’t have a fever but a red rash that constantly changes in size. Do not wait for more symptoms to appear before you seek medical attention as it can get worse over time if left untreated and potentially become fatal.
Cellulitis is usually treated with antibiotics through oral intake or intravenous method.