Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin and unlike impetigo, a very superficial skin infection, cellulitis is a kind of aninfection that involves the skin’s deep layers, which is the dermis and subcutaneous tissue. Its main bacteria responsible for cellulitis are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus, which are the same bacterial that could cause impetigo.
MRSA- methicillin-resistant Staph aureus could also cause cellulitis while at other times, bacteria such as Hemophilus influenzae, Pneumococcus and Clostridium species could also be the result of cellulitis. This disease is quite common and can affect people of all ages and races, men and women alike.
Cellulitis is not contagious and sometimes it tends to appear in areas where the skin could be broken open like the skin near ulcers or surgical wounds. Cellulitis is often treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics.
It appears as a swollen, red appearance on the skin which feels hot and tender and could spread rapidly to other areas. The skin on lower areas of the legs commonly tends to get affected though it could affect any area of the body or face. It could also affect only the skin’s surface or also affect underlying tissues of the skin and spread to lymph nodes as well as the bloodstream.
Symptoms of Cellulitis
Cellulitis tends to begin with small areas of tenderness, redness and swelling which may spread to the adjacent skin that would feel warm to the touch and as the red area begins to get large, the person may have fever which at times may accompany with chills and sweats, tenderness and swollen lymph nodes near the area of infected skin.
Sometimes small blisters may also form and burst. This condition may appear when one or more types of bacteria may enter through a crack or break in your skin. Bacteria is more likely to enter these areas of skin when a person may have had a recent surgery, cuts, puncture wounds, athlete’s foot or dermatitis, besides ulcers.
There could also be certain kinds of insects or spider bites which could transmit the bacteria to begin the infection of cellulitis. Moreover areas of dry flaky skin could also be at risk for entry point for the bacteria.
Treated with Antibiotics – Oral/Intravenous
When faced with the symptoms mentioned, the person should consult the physician who could distinguish if the inflammation is due to an infection and diagnose the ailment. Cellulitis is often treated with antibiotics which are designed to eradicate the likely bacteria that could be the cause of cellulitis.
At times the treatment may need the administration of intravenous antibiotics in the hospital since oral antibiotics may not provide sufficient penetration of the inflamed tissues to be effective or it could also be administered at home.
Physician is the best judge in choosing a treatment based on the several factors which include the extent and location of the infection, the kind of bacteria responsible for the infection and the overall condition of the person suffering from cellulitis.
If this condition is not treated it could spread the infection rapidly and could be dangerous to the person and hence it is necessary to seek timely treatment.