What is cellulitis?
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and the tissues under the skin. Unlike impetigo, it is a very superficial skin infection, cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that also affects the deeper layers of the skin: the skin and the subcutaneous tissue.
The main bacteria responsible for cellulitis are streptococcus and staphylococcus (“personal”), the same bacteria that cause impetigo and other illnesses. MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staff Air) can also cause cellulitis. Sometimes other bacteria (for example, Haemophilus influenza, pneumococcus, and clostridium) can also cause cellulitis.
This is very common and affects people of all races and ages. Men and women are equally affected. Although cellulitis can occur at any age, it is most common in middle-aged and older people. This is not an infection.
Types of cellulitis
There are different types of cellulitis depending on where the infection is occurring.
Some types include:
- Periorbital cellulitis, which develops around the eyes
- Perianal cellulitis, which develops around the anal socket
- Facial cellulitis, which develops around the eyes, nose, and cheeks
- Breast cellulitis
Cellulite can occur anywhere on the body, including the hands and feet. Adults develop cellulitis in the leg, while children develop it on the face or neck.
Causes of cellulitis
Cellulitis occurs when bacteria, usually streptococcus, and staphylococcus, enter the skin through cracks or fissures. The incidence of a more serious staphylococcus infection known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasing.
Although cellulite can occur anywhere on your body, the most common location is the lower leg. You may have recent surgeries, cuts, puncture wounds, ulcers, athlete’s foot, or dermatitis where bacteria can get into the affected areas of the skin. Animal bites can cause cellulitis. Bacteria can also enter through dry, scaly, or inflamed skin.
The infection begins in skin lesions:
- Bug bites
- Surgical wounds
Most often, cellulite develops in an area where the skin is broken, such as a cut, small puncture wound, or an insect bite. In some cases, when cellulitis develops without noticeable skin damage, it can become inflamed or irritated by microscopic cracks in the skin. It can also appear on the skin near wounds or surgical wounds.
In other cases, cellulite occurs where the skin does not break down, such as chronic edema. Pre-existing skin infections such as athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) or impetigo may be a risk factor for developing cellulitis. Likewise, skin diseases such as inflammatory medical conditions or skin damage caused by eczema, psoriasis, or radiation therapy can lead to this disease.
People with diabetes or diseases that compromise the function of the immune system (for example, HIV / AIDS or chemotherapy or drugs that suppress the immune system) are more likely to develop cellulite in particular.
Conditions or illnesses that reduce blood flow through the veins or reduce the amount of lymphatic fluid (such as venous insufficiency, esophagus, pregnancy, or surgery) can also increase the risk of this disease.
Symptoms of cellulitis
Cellulite usually appears as an area of red, swollen, and painful skin that is warm and smooth to the touch. The skin may look itchy like orange peel or blisters may appear on the affected skin. Some people may also have a fever and chills. Cellulite can appear anywhere on the body, but it is most common on the legs and feet.
The signs and symptoms of cellulite usually appear on one side of the body:
- The red area of the skin expands
- Tight, glossy, swollen skin
- Skin dimpling
- Red spots
- An abscess with pus
- Red streaks
Diagnosis of cellulitis
Your doctor will take a medical history and a physical exam. Other policies may include:
- The doctor uses a needle to remove fluid from the area and send it to the lab.
- A blood test if they think the infection has spread to your blood.
- X-ray if there is a foreign object on your skin or if the bone underneath is infected.
Treatment for cellulitis
Antibiotics are taken orally for 5 to 14 days in the treatment of this disease. Your doctor may also prescribe pain relievers. Rest until your symptoms improve. Elevate the affected organ higher than your heart to reduce inflammation.
Cellulite should go away within 7-10 days of starting to take antibiotics. If your infection is severe due to a chronic illness or a weakened immune system, you may need additional treatment. Even if your symptoms improve within a few days, take all the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. It takes care of all bacteria.
If doctors suspect a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, such as when the pus dries up under the skin or develops other severe symptoms, treatment may include antibiotics such as trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, clindamycin, or oral doxycycline. People with mild cellulitis can take antibiotics by mouth.
Symptoms of this disease usually go away after a few days of antibiotic therapy. However, before the symptoms of cellulitis improve, they get worse because, along with bacterial death, substances that cause tissue damage are released.
When this release occurs, the body continues to respond even though the bacteria are dead. Antibiotics are continued for 10 days or more if symptoms do not appear early.
Contact your doctor if:
- You may not feel better within 3 days after starting the antibiotics
- You have a fever
- Your symptoms will intensify
Cellulite can be treated with antibiotics that you can get from your doctor. Without treatment, it can spread and cause a fatal infection. But there are things you can do at home to relieve pain and other symptoms.
Cleanse your skin where you have cellulite. Ask your doctor how to properly clean your wound. If your leg is affected, raise it to the level of your heart. Helps reduce inflammation and pain.
Departments to consult for this condition
- Department of dermatology