Cellulitis is a medical term for a well-known disease of the skin and it refers to the bacterial infection of the skin, which can be serious in some cases. A person with cellulitis usually has swollen and red area of skin, which can spread, or even be hot or tender. The most frequently affected area is the skin on the lower legs, but there are also cases of cellulitis on some other parts of the body, and even in the face. Cellulitis may appear on this skin only, or it can occur under the skin and spread to the lymph nodes and blood. Cellulitis thus must be treated on time because it can lead to some serious conditions that can even be fatal.
It is important to visit the doctor if some cellulitis symptoms are noticed. The most common warning signs of this skin infection are swelling and redness of the skin, as well as tenderness and pain. Some persons may experience warmth and fever as well, though redness of the affected area can spread and red spots or blisters can appear also.
Causes of cellulitis
Cuts, puncture wounds, an ulcer, athlete's foot or dermatitis are the places where bacteria usually easily enter. Streptococcus and staphylococcus are the two bacteria that usually cause cellulitis. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is a staphylococcus infection that is very serious and that appears more frequently in recent years. Furthermore, insect or spider bites can spread bacteria. Disrupted area of the skin after the surgery, as well as the dry and flaky skin, are some of the location where bacteria that causes cellulitis can very easily penetrate.
Because of the certain conditions, some persons are at greater risk to get cellulitis than others, and these risk factors refer to injuries, weak immune system, skin diseases, lymphedema and intravenous drug use. Any kind of injury which results in an open wound only increases the chances to develop cellulitis. Persons who suffer from diabetes, chronic leukemia, chronic kidney or liver disease, and some circulation problems, or those who use corticosteroids, often have weak immune system, which can lead to the occurrence of cellulitis. Some skin diseases, such as eczema, athlete's foot, chickenpox and shingles may be the factors for the cellulitis, because they damage the skin. In the case of lymphedema, the swollen tissue that is affected may break, so bacteria can enter through the damaged skin.