WHAT IS CELLULITIS INFECTION?
And How Do I Get Rid of It?
What is cellulitis infection? And if you get it, how do you get rid of it? This article covers these important questions, including how to identify symptoms and other facts about cellulitis.
1. What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is a skin condition where there are extra fat deposits under the skin that give it a lumpy look. It is usually seen on the butt and thighs, and described as looking like cottage cheese.
2. What is Cellulitis Infection?
So what is cellulitis infection? Cellulitis is what happens when the bacteria of your skin and the tissue underneath it becomes infected. The bacteria that causes this are called Streptococcus and Staphylococcus, and although there are several types of bacteria that can cause this, they are the ones who are most often responsible for cellulitis occurring.
3. Where Does Cellulitis Occur?
It can appear/occur anywhere in the body, although it most frequently happens on the face and legs. Cellulitis also sometimes happens where skin has been broken open (for example near a surgical wound or ulcer).
4. What are the Causes of Cellulitis?
Cellulitis is caused by bacteria going into a break, abrasion, or cut on the skin. The break doesn’t have to be visible for this to happen. While Staphylococcus and Streptococcus do most commonly cause cellulitis, they are a normal part of human skin and cause no harm while on the outer surface. It’s when they get under the skin that they start causing problems. Conditions that previously occurred that can lead to cellulitis are blistering, insect or spider bites, skin rash, animal bites, tattoos, recent surgery, dry skin, athlete’s foot, eczema, injecting drugs, diabetes, obesity, pregnancy, boils, and burns. However, the red skin may mean there is a more serious infection of the inner skin. The bacteria spreads incredibly fast and can enter the lymph nodes and blood stream.
5. What Risks Are Involved With Cellulitis?
The most fatal risk is that cellulitis can spread to other parts of the body and become a life threatening condition. Abscesses that might need surgical draining can also occur. There are many factors that increase the likelihood of cellulitis, such as living in a densely populated building where people share living quarters, like a dorm, hospital, military installation, nursing home, or homeless shelter. Diseases that attack blood circulation in feet and legs increase the risk of getting it as well. Taking immunosuppressive drugs and getting other sicknesses orinfections that make the immune system weak are also big risk factors. Shingles and chickenpox can result in blisters that break open that provides a gap for the bacteria that causes cellulitis to get in. Lymphedema, an illness that causes swelling on the arms and/or legs, can also put an individual at risk.
6. Is Cellulitis Contagious?
Although it is not contagious, it can spread into other body tissue or the bloodstream. Fortunately, it is treatable. However, it should be treated immediately, as it is very likely to spread to the rest of the body and if it does can become a life threatening condition.
7. What Are The Symptoms Of Cellulitis?
Typically, it starts out on a small area on the skin that turns red and painful. It will then spread to the tissue surrounding it and cause inflammation, which can be identified with the following symptoms: redness, warmth, swelling, blistering, skin dimples, red spots, and pain. Additional symptoms that can occur are developing a fever and/or getting swollen lymph nodes. In very rare cases, the symptoms can mean there is a deeper problem than cellulitis. It can spread to a very deep tissue layer known as the fascial lining. If this happens, it can go from cellulitis to flesh eating bacteria, which needs to be treated immediately and urgently.
8. How is Cellulitis Treated?
There is no known best cure yet, but usually a doctor will prescribe antibiotics that can then be taken orally or intravenously. If there is an abscess, surgical drainage can also be prescribed along with the antibiotics, and pain relief can be described as well. The most commonly used antibiotics are cephalexin, cloxacillin, or amoxicillin. If the infected person is allergic to penicillin, they can use clindamycin or erythromycin.
However, if there is excessive pain it should be looked into as it may be a sign of something else. Elevating the area is also recommended. It also helps to wash and cover the wound, as well as doing regular hand washing while treating the cellulitis.