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Cellulitis Skin Infection

Definition

Cellulitis is an acute inflammation of the connective tissue of the skin, which is caused by infection with staphylococcus, streptococcus or other bacteria. Cellulitis most commonly appears in areas where there is a break in the skin from an abrasion, a cut, or a skin ulcer. Cellulitis infection once occurred to any person spreads, very fast. It usually begins as a small area of tenderness, swelling, and redness on the skin. As this red area begins to spread, the person may develop a fever, which may be sometimes also accompanied with chills and sweats, and swollen glands near the area of infected skin.

The word "cellulitis" actually means "inflammation of the cells". It is most common on the face and lower legs, although skin on other areas of the body may sometimes be involved. Specifically, cellulitis refers to an infection of the tissue just below the skin surface. Pre-septal cellulitis affects the lid and other "outer" areas of the eye, whereas orbital cellulitis affects the "inner" areas around the eyeball.

Causes of Cellulitis

The most common bacterial causes of cellulitis include the following:

  • Staphylococcus Aureus: It is also one of the main bacteria that causes cellulitis. This bacteria occasionally produces a superficial cellulitis. It is usually associated with an open wound or cutaneous abscess.
  • Streptococcus Pyogenes: It is the most common cause of superficial cellulitis with diffuse spread of infection.
  • Streptococcal or Staphylococcal Bacteria: This bacteria enter the skin through a cut, puncture, ulcer , or sore, producing enzymes that break down the skin cells. Erysipelas is a superficial form of cellulitis.
Other Possible Causes may be:-
  • If you have got an injury, that broke your skin, in that case you are more prone to allow bacteria to invade the skin and causing cellulitis.
  • Infections related to a surgical procedure may also cause cellulitis.
  • Foreign objects in the skin may lead to the condition of cellulitis.
  • Infection of bone underneath the skin cause cellulitis.
  • In children of ages under six years, H. flu (Hemophilus influenzae) bacteria is one of the main cause of cellulitis, especially on the face, arms, and upper torso.
  • Cellulitis from a dog or cat bite may be caused by the Pasturella multocida bacteria, which has a very short incubation period of only four to 24 hours.

Symptoms for Cellulitis

The affected skin feels warm, may look swollen, and looks red and inflamed. The following are the Most Common Symptoms of Cellulitis. These includes:

  • Swollen lymph nodes near the area of infected skin.
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Drainage or leaking of yellow clear fluid or pus from the skin.
  • Headache could also occur due to Cellulitis
  • Swelling of the skin is a primary symptom of cellulitis.
  • Blisters.
  • Chills.
  • You will have the feeling of tiredness and weakness due to occurrence of cellulitis.
  • A very large area of red, inflamed skin, shows the presence of cellulitis.
  • If the skin appears black, may indicate the presence of cellulitis.
  • If you are a diabetic patient or have weakened immune system, then you are at more risk of developing cellulitis.
  • If the condition spreads to the body via the blood, then fevers and chills can result.
  • In adults, cellulitis typically develops near a surgical site or at the site of an injury, such as a burn, a cut, or an animal bite.
  • Joint Stiffness caused by swelling of the tissue over the joint.
  • Hair Loss.

Treatment for Cellulitis

Some Important Treatment for Cellulitis includes:
  • If you have a cellulitis of the leg - keep your leg raised while you are resting. This helps to prevent excess swelling which may also ease pain. 'Raised' means that your foot is higher than your hip so gravity helps to reduce the swelling.
  • If the cellulitis is in the forearm or hand, a high sling can help to raise the affected area to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Surgical intervention, if necessary must be used.
  • At home, warm compresses, such as a warm, moist washcloth, and elevation of the infected area can help.
  • In severe cases, antibiotics may be given intravenously for the first 24 to 72 hours, followed by oral antibiotics. Oral antibiotics used commonly are penicillin, flucloxacillin, cefuroxime, or erythromycin.
  • In severe cases that progress rapidly or are associated with necrosis, necrotizing cellulitis -fasciitis is considered. This requires urgent surgical exploration.
  • If you have mild cellulitis, you probably can be treated at home with oral antibiotics. It will help to reduce the pain in your affected area.
  • Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can ease pain and reduce a fever. It will help for the treatment of cellulitis and blackheads.
   Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum
   Paget's Disease
   Pemphigus Vulgaris
   Perioral Dermatitis
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Disclaimer - The information contained in the Skin Diseases is provided for the purpose of educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. We are not responsible for any consequence resulted from using this information. Please always consult your physician for medical advices and treatment.