What is cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a deep bacterial infection of the skin. The infection usually involves the face, or the arms and legs. Cellulitis may happen in normal skin, but it usually occurs after some type of trauma causes an opening in your skin. This opening can lead to an infection.

What is the cause of cellulitis?

Cellulitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection of a wound or area of skin that is no longer intact. The most common bacterial causes of cellulitis include the following:

Other causes may include human or animal bites, or injuries that occur in water.

What are the symptoms of cellulitis?

The following are the most common symptoms of cellulitis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

Some cases of cellulitis are considered an emergency. Always consult your physician immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms: The symptoms of cellulitis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is cellulitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis is usually based on a medical history and physical examination. Blood and skin samples may be taken to confirm the diagnosis and the type of bacteria that is present.

Treatment for cellulitis:

Specific treatment for cellulitis will be determined by your physician based on:

Immediate treatment can help prevent the spread of cellulitis. Treatment may include:

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

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