Cellulitis

Cellulitis: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Cellulitis is an acute inflammation of the connective tissue of the skin, caused by infection with staphylococcus, streptococcus or other bacteria. It normally starts close to the source of the original infection and quickly spreads to involve large area of the face and neck.Types may include: Acute scalp cellulitis, anaerobic, dissecting, eosinophilic, gangrenous, necrotizing, orbital, pelvic, periorbital, and preseptal cellulitis.Cellulitis occurs when one or more types of bacteria enter through a crack or break in your skin. Haemophilus influenzae (H. flu) bacteria may also cause cellulitis infection, most usually on arms, face and upper body. Aeromonas hydrophila and Vibrio vulnificus bacteria causes cellulitis infection after exposure to seawater or freshwater. Bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosa may causes of cellulitis after a puncture wound. Certain types of insect or spider bites also can transmit the bacteria that start the infection. Areas of dry, flaky skin also can be an entry point for bacteria, as can swollen skin.Risks Factors:Known injury (cut, graze, burn, puncture, and animal, human, or insect bite).
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Being obese.
  • Having lymphoedema or lymphedema.
  • Certain skin disorders, such as eczema, athlete's foot, chickenpox and shingles, cause breaks in the skin and increase your risk of cellulitis.
  • Intravenous drug use.Cellulitis
Although cellulitis can occur anywhere on your body, the most common location is the lower leg. Disrupted areas of skin, such as where you have had recent surgery, cuts, puncture wounds, an ulcer, athlete's foot or dermatitis, serve as the most likely areas for bacteria to enter.Symptoms:Symptoms may include:Redness and swelling.
  • Localized pain.
  • Tenderness.
  • Warmth.
  • Drainage.
Other symptoms may include:Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Fatigue.
  • Blisters.
  • Scabs.
  • Rash.
  • Erysipelas rash.
  • Red lines toward lymph nodes.
Possible complications may include:Gangrene. Diagnosis:The very first step in cellulitis diagnosis process is review of patient's medical history and asking questions about medical conditions such as diabetes, cancers, chemotherapy, HIV, bitten by any animal recently, have you recently been in fresh or salt water, etc. The disease confirmation is done by appearance of your skin (red, swollen, warmth and painful). Your doctor may also suggest blood tests, a wound culture or other tests to help rule out a blood clot deep in the veins of your legs.Cellulitis in the lower leg is characterized by signs and symptoms that may be similar to those of a clot occurring deep in the veins, such as warmth, pain and swelling.Treatment:Cellulitis treatment may involve a prescription oral antibiotic. Usually, doctors prescribe a drug that is effective against both streptococci and staphylococci. Your doctor will choose an antibiotic based on your circumstances. In most cases, signs and symptoms of cellulitis disappear after a few days. No matter what type of antibiotic your doctor prescribes, it is important that you take the medication as directed and that you finish the entire course of medication, even if you start feeling better. If they do not clear up, if they are extensive or if you have a high fever, you may need to be hospitalized and receive antibiotics intravenously (through your veins).Preventive Measures:Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Wear protective equipment on skin when involved in sports, activities or work that may cause injury.
  • Keep your skin clean, soft and dry. Use a mild soap and moisturizers.
  • Individuals with diabetes or peripheral vascular disease should examine their legs and feet daily.
  • Observe skin for any non-healing sores.
Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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