Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin.
Staphylococcus and Streptococcus are the types of bacteria that are usually responsible for cellulitis, although many kinds of bacteria can cause the condition.
Occasionally cellulitis appears in areas where the skin has broken open, such as the skin near ulcers or surgical wounds.
Tenderness and pain,
The heat of the affected area.
It can occur anywhere within the body. Cellulitis frequently affects the legs.
Cellulitis is not contagious.
Complications of severe cellulitis include the spread of this infection from the affected area into the blood or into other body cells.
Cellulitis Symptoms and Signs:
It usually begins as a tiny region of pain and redness on the skin.
This region spreads into surrounding tissues, resulting in the normal signs of inflammation — swelling, redness, heat, and pain.
A person with cellulitis may also develop bloated or fever lymph nodes in the area of the disease.
What is cellulitis?
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin.
Contrary to impetigo, which is a really superficial skin infection, cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that also requires the skin’s deeper layers the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.
The key bacteria responsible for cellulitis are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus (“staph”), the very same bacteria which could cause impetigo and other diseases.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph aureus) can also result in cellulitis. Sometimes, other bacteria (for example, Hemophilus influenza, Pneumococcus, and Clostridium species) can cause cellulitis too.
This problem of skin is fairly common and affects people of all ages and races. Women and men appear to be equally affected.
Although cellulitis can happen in people of any age, it’s most common in middle-aged and elderly men and women.
Symptoms and signs:
The symptoms normally begin as a small field of swelling, and redness that spreads into the adjacent skin. The skin may feel warm to the touch.
As this red area begins to expand, the affected person may develop a fever, sometimes with chills and sweats, pain, and swollen lymph nodes (“swollen glands”) near the region of infected skin.
Where does cellulitis happen?
Cellulitis may happen anywhere on the body; the legs are a frequent sight.
The lower leg is the most common site of the infection (particularly in the area of the tibia or shinbone and at the foot; visit the illustration below), followed by the arm, then the neck and head areas.
In particular conditions, such as after surgery or trauma wounds, cellulitis may develop in the stomach or chest areas.
People with morbid obesity may also develop in the abdominal skin. Particular types of cellulitis are from time to time designated by the positioning of the infection.
What does cellulitis look like?
The signs of cellulitis include redness, warmth, swelling, tenderness, and pain in the involved tissues.
Any skin wound or parasite which creates these signs or symptoms may be developing cellulitis.
Other kinds of noninfectious inflammation can mimic cellutis. Individuals with poor circulation in the legs, for example, often grow scaly discoloration on the shins and ankles.
This can be known as”stasis dermatitis” and can be mistaken for the fungal disease of cellulitis.
Most commonly, It develops in the region of a break in the skin, such as a cut, small puncture wound, or insect sting.
It may also show up in the skin close ulcers or surgical wounds.
In different circumstances, cellulitis occurs where there has been no skin break at all, for example with chronic leg swelling (edema).
A preexisting skin disease, such as an athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) or impetigo can be a risk factor for the development of cellutis.
Additionally, inflammatory health ailments or diseases of the skin such as eczema, psoriasis, or skin damage caused by radiation treatment may lead to celulitis.
People who suffer from diabetes or disorders that undermine the function of the immune system.
HIV/AIDS or people receiving chemotherapy or medications that suppress the immune system) are especially prone to developing celulitis.
Conditions or disorders that decrease the blood circulation from the veins or which reduce the flow of the lymphatic fluid (for example, venous insufficiency, obesity, pregnancy, or surgeries) also raise the possibility of developing cellulitis.
What causes cellulitis?
Nearly all cellulitis infections are caused by infection with strep (Streptococcus) or staph (Staphylococcus) bacteria.
The most common germs that cause cellulitis are beta-hemolytic streptococci (groups A, B, C, G, and F).
Erysipelas is more common in young children. The so-called”flesh-eating germs” are, in fact, also a strain of strep bacteria which can sometimes rapidly ruin thicker tissues beneath the skin.
The streptococcal infection known as the flesh-eating bacterial disease is a good illustration of fasciitis.
Cellulitis, when untreated, can seldom spread to the cells and cause critical fasciitis.
Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), including methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA), is another common type of bacteria that causes cellulitis.
There is an increasing prevalence of community-acquired infections as a result of methicillin-resistant S.
Aureus (MRSA), a particularly dangerous type of staph infection that’s resistant to many antibiotics, including methicillin, and is consequently more difficult to deal with.
Celulitis may be caused by a number of other types of bacteria. In children under 6 decades old, H. flu (Hemophilus influenza) bacteria can lead to cellulitis, especially on the face, arms, and upper torso.
Aeromonas hydrophilia, Vibrio vulnificus, and other bacteria are causes of cellulitis that develops after exposure to seawater.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is another kind of bacteria that could cause cellulitis, normally following a puncture wound.
Cellulits are not contagious because it’s a soft tissue infection of your skin’s deeper layers (the dermis and subcutaneous tissue), and also the skin’s upper layer (the epidermis) supplies a cover over the infection.
In this regard, it differs from impetigo, where there is a really superficial skin infection that could be contagious.
What kinds of healthcare professionals handle cellulitis?
Primary care pros, such as internists and family medicine specialists, treat it.
For patients who seek medical treatment at an urgent care center or emergency department, emergency medicine specialists may be the treating doctors.
Occasionally infectious disease specialists or surgeons might be involved in the medical treatment of cellulitis.
How do health care professionals make a diagnosis of cellulitis? What is the medical treatment for cellulitis?
First, it’s crucial for the physician to differentiate whether or not the inflammation is due to an infection.
The history and physical exam can offer clues in this regard, as can sometimes an elevated white blood cell count.
In this situation, cellulitis is often treated with antibiotics that are made to eradicate the most likely germs to cause the particular kind.
In case a pus-filled abscess is present, surgical drainage is usually required.
When it’s impossible or difficult to distinguish whether or not the indicators are because of an infection, physicians sometimes treat with antibiotics just to be sure.
When the germs prove to be resistant to the selected antibiotics, or in patients that are allergic to penicillin, other antibiotics that are appropriate can be substituted.
Sometimes the treatment demands the administration of intravenous antibiotics in a hospital setting, because oral antibiotics may not always offer sufficient reinforcement of the inflamed tissues to be effective.
Examples of antibiotics used to treat:
Amoxicillin and clavulanate (Augmentin)
Piperacillin and tazobactam (Zosyn)
Ceftazidime (Fortaz, Tazicef)
Imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin)
In all cases, doctors choose a treatment based upon many factors, including the location and extent of the infection, the type of bacteria causing the infection, and the overall health status of the individual.
Is it feasible to stop Cellulitis?
Under some conditions, it can be avoided by appropriate hygiene, treating chronic swelling of tissues (edema), care of wounds or cuts.
In other cases, microscopic breaks in the skin might not be apparent and disease may develop.
Generally, celulitis in a healthy individual with an intact immune system is preventable by avoiding skin wounds.
In individuals with predisposing conditions (see above) and/or weakened immune systems, cellulitis might not always be preventable.
What is the outlook/prognosis and complications for Cellulitis?
Cellulitis is a curable illness, but antibiotic treatment is required to eradicate the disease and prevent complications and spread of this disease.
Mostly it can be effectively treated with oral antibiotics at home. Sometimes hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics are needed if oral antibiotics aren’t effective.
Sepsis is a serious complication of cellulitis. If not properly treated, It can occasionally spread to the bloodstream and cause a serious bacterial infection of the bloodstream that spreads throughout the entire body (sepsis).
Just how long does Cellulitis last?
It will continue to disperse and not resolve until antibiotic treatment is used. Normally, the symptoms vanish three to ten days after you’ve started taking antibiotics.
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