Cellulitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria can infect the deeper layers of your skin if it's broken, for example, because of an insect bite or cut, or if it's cracked and dry. Sometimes the break in the skin is too small to notice.
Bacteria are most likely to enter disrupted areas of skin, such as where you've had recent surgery, cuts, puncture wounds, an ulcer, athlete's foot or dermatitis. Animal bites can cause cellulitis. Bacteria can also enter through areas of dry, flaky skin or swollen skin.
Most commonly, it occurs in areas that may have been damaged or are inflamed for other reasons, such as inflamed injuries, contaminated cuts, or areas with poor skin hygiene. Bad circulation from poor vein function or peripheral arterial disease is a common cause of cellulitis.
In general, cellulitis appears as a red, swollen, and painful area of skin that is warm and tender to the touch. The skin may look pitted, like the peel of an orange, or blisters may appear on the affected skin. Some people may also develop fever and chills.
Treatment for cellulitis, which is an infection of the skin and tissues, includes antibiotics and addressing any underlying condition that led to the infection. Home remedies can also help cellulitis go away faster, such as keeping the area dry, using antibiotic ointments, rest, and elevating the affected leg or arm.
Cellulitis can cause sepsis in some people. Often incorrectly called blood poisoning, sepsis is the body's often deadly response to infection. Sepsis and septic shock can result from an infection anywhere in the body, such as pneumonia, influenza, and urinary tract infections.
These can include:
Oct 22, 2021
The best antibiotic to treat cellulitis include dicloxacillin, cephalexin, trimethoprim with sulfamethoxazole, clindamycin, or doxycycline antibiotics.
Cellulitis initially appears as pink-to-red minimally inflamed skin. The involved area may rapidly become deeper red, swollen, warm, and tender and increase in size as the infection spreads. Occasionally, red streaks may radiate outward from the cellulitis. Blisters or pus-filled bumps may also be present.
Children and the elderly typically have weaker immune systems and thus are at greater risk of cellulitis than young and middle-aged adults. An autoimmune disease — such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis — can also weaken the immune system.
It often develops on areas of the body with edema (swelling/poor circulation), the site of an injury, the site of a surgery, or around an active skin rash. With proper treatment and care, small patches of cellulitis can heal in around five or seven days.
Cellulitis can go away on its own, but it will likely take longer to heal without treatment than it would if you took antibiotics. In the meantime, you run the risk of the infection worsening and even getting into your bloodstream, which can be life-threatening.
Why is cellulitis so painful? The infection in the skin causes swelling. It is this swelling that is painful, because it presses the skin out.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Most people with cellulitis respond to the antibiotics in 2 to 3 days and begin to improve. In rare cases, the cellulitis may spread through the bloodstream and become serious.
What are the symptoms of sepsis?
Sep 17, 2019
Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is a potentially life-threatening by the body in response to an infection. Warnings signs include high fever, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, breathing difficulties, drastic body temperature change, worsening infection, mental decline, and severe illness.
Signs of sepsis are: • Pale, blotchy or blue skin, lips or tongue. Blotchy skin is when parts of your skin are a different colour than normal. Sometimes it is hard to know if you or somebody you look after has sepsis, or if it is something else, like flu or a chest infection.