Cellulitis Causes Symptoms Information with Treatment

The word cellulitis literally means inflammation of the cells. The infection usually involves the face, or the arms and legs. Cellulitis can be caused by normal skin flora or by exogenous bacteria , and often occurs where the skin has previously been broken cracks in the skin, cuts, burns , insect bites , surgical wounds, or sites of intravenous catheter insertion. It may happen in normal skin, but it usually occurs after some type of trauma causes an opening in your skin. Bacteria usually enter through small breaks in the epidermis that result from scrapes, punctures, burns, and skin disorders such as dermatitis (see Itching and Noninfectious Rashes: Dermatitis ) Areas of the skin that become swollen with fluid (edema) are especially vulnerable. The main bacteria involved in cellulitis is Staphylococcus (“staph”), the same bacteria that causes many cases of impetigo. Occasionally, other bacteria may cause cellulitis as well.

Causes of Cellulitis

The common Causes of Cellulitis :

Infections related to a surgical procedure

Injuries that break the skin

Foreign objects in the skin

Any breaks in the skin that allow bacteria to invade the skin (examples are chronic skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis )

Infection of bone underneath the skin (An example is a long-standing open wound that is deep enough to expose the bone to bacteria. Sometimes this occurs in people with diabetes who cannot feel their feet.)

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Group A B – hemolytic streptococcus

Streptococcus pyogenes

Symptoms of Cellulitis

Some Symptoms of Cellulitis :

Fever

Tenderness

Swelling of the skin

Warmth over the area of redness

Headache

Chills

Localized skin redness or inflammation that increases in size as the infection spreads

Pain or tenderness of the area

Bruising

Treatment of Cellulitis

Oral or intravenous (IV) antibiotics

Warm, wet dressings on the infection site

Surgical intervention

If you have an extremity (arm or leg) that is affected, your physician may have you elevate the extremity and decrease the amount of activity

Rest

Based on the physical examination, your physician may treat you in the hospital, depending onthe severity of the cellulitis. In the hospital, you may receive antibiotics and fluids through an intravenous (IV) catheter.

In all cases systemic antibiotics will be required. Most of the time oral antibiotics are required even for the milder cases