Cellulitis - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Cellulitis is a painful, potentially serious bacterial infection of the skin. The affected area of the skin becomes red, hot upon touch, and swollen. Also, one may feel it is painful. It usually occurs in the skin of the lower legs. But it can also attack the face, arms, and other parts. Cellulitis occurs when any crack or break occurs in your skin, which eventually becomes a source of bacteria's entrance. If left untreated, cellulitis can invade your bloodstream and lymph nodes, becoming a life-threatening infection. Moreover, it does not spread from person to person. 


Symptoms 


The signs and symptoms of cellulitis occur in one side of the body usually. It may cause the following signs and symptoms.


  • Pain

  • Warmth

  • Fever

  • Red spots

  • The red area of skin that tends to expand

  • Swelling

  • Tenderness

  • Blisters

  • Skin dimpling 


Some other serious symptoms of cellulitis are;


  • Shaking 

  • Chills 

  • Feeling ill

  • Warm skin

  • Fatigue 

  • Dizziness 

  • Lightheadedness

  • Muscle aches

  • Sweating


Causes  


Cellulitis occurs due to bacterial attacks mostly due to streptococcus and staphylococcus. Nowadays the frequency of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus cellulitis is increasing, which is quite difficult to treat. It usually occurs in the skin of the lower legs. But it can also attack that of face, arms, and other parts. Cellulitis occurs when any crack or break occurs in your skin, which eventually becomes a source of bacteria's entrance. If left untreated, cellulitis can invade your bloodstream and lymph nodes, becoming life-threatening.


Cellulitis can occur if you have cuts, wounds, skin abrasions, punctures, athlete's foot, eczema, or dermatitis. Dry or flaky skin and animal bites can also become a cause for bacteria entry. 


Risk factors 


The risk factors for cellulitis are 


Injury 


Injury leads to breakage of the skin, which eventually becomes a route for the bacteria's entrance. 


Weakened immune system


The immune system plays a role in protecting you from infections. The first line of defense of your body is your skin. Conditions that weaken your immune system like AIDS, malignancies, diabetes, and long-term immunosuppressant intake can lead to cellulitis. It happens because your body can not fight off that infection. 


Skin conditions 


Cellulitis can occur if you have cuts, wounds, skin abrasions, punctures, athlete's foot, eczema, or dermatitis. Dry or flaky skin and animal bites can also become a cause for bacteria entry. 


History 


Having a history of cellulitis increases the chances for it in the future. If you have had once, be vigilant for the next time. As soon as you notice the swelling or redness, you must visit the healthcare provider. 


Obesity 


Obesity can also increase the risk of cellulitis. 



Complications 


Cellulitis, if left untreated, can become life-threatening by entering the lymphatic drainage system. If you have symptoms like drowsiness, lethargy, blisters, or high-grade fever, you must visit the healthcare provider as soon as possible. 


Treatment and prevention 


For treating cellulitis, the healthcare providers will prescribe you antibiotics because it is a bacterial infection. Depending on the severity, they may ask you to take it through the mouth, or they may give it in an injectable form. Moreover, for preventing it, you must exercise the following tips.


  • Wash your wounds with antiseptics and keep them clean

  • Apply an ointment or over the counter topical antibiotics

  • Cover your wound 

  • If you have diabetes, inspect your legs and feet properly for any injury. 


Conclusion 


Cellulitis is a painful, potentially serious bacterial infection of the skin. The affected area of the skin is red, hot upon touch, and swollen. Also, one may feel it is painful. It usually occurs in the skin of the lower legs. But it can also attack that of face, arms, and other parts. Cellulitis occurs due to bacterial attacks mostly due to streptococcus and staphylococcus. For treating cellulitis, the healthcare providers will prescribe you antibiotics because it is a bacterial infection.


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