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Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Cellulitis

Dr. Sandeep Gupta 93% (1368 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi  •  14 years experience
Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a serious bacterial infection that is characterized by red and swollen areas on the skin. The condition may spread quickly to other areas of the body. The most commonly affected areas of the body are the lower legs, although it affects other areas of the body as well. 

The disease may affect either the outer layer of the skin or the tissues underneath your skin, from where it may spread to your bloodstream and the lymph nodes. If the condition is not treated on time, it may turn into a life threatening one.

Symptoms:

  1. You may experience inflammation and redness on your skin
  2. The affected area may become tender and painful
  3. The area may feel warm
  4. Presence of skin rashes around the area
  5. Pus filled formations on the skin
  6. The skin may have a tight and swollen appearance
  7. You may run a fever
  8. Feeling dizzy and fatigued if the condition turns serious

Causes:
This condition occurs when bacteria such as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus enter the body through cuts or cracks on the skin. Surgical incisions, cuts and insect bites are usually the causes of the infection. Some other risk factors include a weak immune system, diabetes and skin conditions such as eczema and athlete's foot.

The condition is treated by antibiotics. If oral medications do not work, then the medicine may be administered intravenously.  

There are certain preventive measures which you can employ to minimize the risks of cellulitis:

  1. If you have a wound or cut in the body, make sure to apply ointments that help in killing the germs.
  2. Always wash your wounds with warm water and soap.
  3. Apply bandage to the area to prevent exposure to dust and bacteria. Make sure that you replace the bandages on a regular basis.
  4. On any sign of infection such as redness and pus drainage, consult a doctor.
  5. Apply moisturizer on your skin to prevent cracks on the skin.
  6. Take care while trimming your finger and toe nails so as to not injure the skin around the nail.
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