Skin infections can be tricky to manage. They have the potential to create discomfort in your daily life. Not only this, but they can cause severe health complications if they go unchecked for too long. So, what is cellulitis? We break down everything you need to know about this bacterial skin infection. Let’s delve into the details.
Cellulitis: What to Consider
Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection. It occurs when the skin and underlying tissue become infected or inflamed. Usually, it can enter the body through cuts, scrapes, and in some cases, insect bites. This being said, cellulitis is not contagious. Additionally, two kinds of bacteria can cause cellulitis: staphylococcus and streptococcus.
Staphylococcus is a bacteria that can form clusters. Some species are harmless and can be found on the skin or in the nose. Other forms, though, can cause conditions from mild skin infections to more severe pneumonia or sepsis. Doctors can typically treat it with antibiotics.
On the other hand, streptococcus is also a bacteria, but they typically form chains. Some species are also harmless and are part of the human flora. Others can cause diseases such as strep throat and pneumonia. It can also cause more severe illnesses, such as sepsis and necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating skin disease. Usually, it is treated with penicillin or other antibiotics.
Wound care and a clean hygiene routine are important factors in preventing cellulitis.
Cellulitis Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatments
Knowing the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment of cellulitis can make a huge difference in preventing its spread and mitigating its severity. Let’s take a deeper look at the facts surrounding cellulitis.
There are many cellulitis symptoms to be aware of. Common symptoms include:
- Redness: The affected area may be red, swollen, and tender, and the skin may be warm to the touch.
- Pain: The site may be painful to the touch. Avoid trying to move or touch the area.
- Blisters: The skin may form blisters, potentially filled with pus.
- Swelling: The site may become swollen and spread quickly unless taken care of.
- Lymph node swelling: Your lymph nodes may become swollen while you have this infection.
- Fatigue: You may feel fatigued and develop a low-grade fever.
- Chills and Fever: You may feel cold and shivery and develop a fever if symptoms worsen.
- Abscess: An abscess may form, which is a pocket of pus that forms under the skin.
Cellulitis is most common on the legs and the feet. If any of these symptoms worsen or spread, it is crucial to seek medical attention.
Cellulitis has the potential to affect anyone. However, some factors may increase your risk of developing this infection. Some include chronic skin conditions such as eczema, drug use, chicken pox or shingles, and breaks in the skin.
Keeping the skin clean, dry, and covered is essential if you have a cut, ulcer, new tattoo, bite, or puncture wound. Avoid scratching and picking at the skin, wash your hands frequently, and avoid direct contact with others.
So, what does cellulitis treatment entail? As always, it depends on the severity of the infection and the underlying cause. Usually, antibiotics help treat diseases. You may be prescribed oral antibiotics if you have a mild case of cellulitis. If you are experiencing pain and swelling, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or a cold compress may be helpful.
If the case is severe, you may need intravenous antibiotics or surgery to drain an abscess or remove infected tissue.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Cellulitis can cause serious complications. It is vital to seek medical treatment immediately if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, redness, swelling, or more.
This bacterial skin infection can cause discomfort and pain in one’s daily life. At BASS Medical Group, we are ready to help you prevent the spread of the infection and avoid severe complications. Our high-quality care and range of services are here to prioritize your safety.