Cellulitis is an inflammation of connective tissue of the skin. It is a common skin disease which can have serious consequences. The skin infected with cellulitis looks swollen, red and it is sensitive to touch, and the infection spreads quickly. Parts of skin that usually get this infection are lower legs, but other parts of the body can get infected as well. One kind of cellulitis changes only the surface of the skin, and the other changes deeper layers and can even spread to the lymph nodes and get into the blood. It is very important to treat cellulitis on time because it is a fast spreading disease and can even have death as consequence.
Most common symptoms of cellulitis are redness of the skin, swelling, pain, irritation, warmth of the place infected, tenderness and even high body temperature or fever. Infected area spreads rapidly, and redness can sometimes be accompanied by small blisters. It is very important to consult the doctor in case a person notices any of the mentioned symptoms, because the infection spreads fast through the body. CausesOne of the things that causes cellulitis is bacterium which enters into the body through a crack in the skin. The most common bacteria that causes cellulitis is streptococcus and staphylococcus. Typically, cellulitis occurs on the lower leg, so any cuts from surgery, puncture wounds, an ulcer, dermatitis or athlete's foot may be passages for bacteria to enter the body. There is also a type of spider which transmits the bacteria that causes the infection.
Treatments and prevention
If diagnosed in its early stages, cellulitis is treated with antibiotics. Although the therapy lasts for up to fourteen days, symptoms of cellulitis usually disappear a couple of days after starting the therapy. If the symptoms do not disappear, the doctor will probably have to prescribe another type of antibiotic or administer them intravenously. In order to prevent cellulitis from occurring, but also other infections, it is important to wash hands with soap and water, to treat surface wounds with antibiotic creams and to react if any of the signs of infection appear. People that suffer from diabetes should be extremely cautious about their skin wounds because their wounds sometimes take time to heal. Everybody should inspect their feet regularly and look for signs of injury. If there are some, then the infection can be caught in its early stages. Everybody should take care of their skin, use moisturizing creams, trim fingernails and toenails carefully, protect hands and feet and wear appropriate shoes and gloves if necessary. Although conditions such as athlete's foot can look harmless, they are quickly spread from person to person and can cause more serious conditions.