Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that causes redness, warmth and swelling in the skin. It can also cause fever and chills in the body. It is caused by a break in the skin due to an abrasion, a cut or a skin ulcer. Cellulitis may also affect tissues that are underlying the skin and can spread to bloodstream and lymph nodes.
It is not a contagious disease as it infects the inner layers of the skin whilst infection is covered by the top layer of the skin. Signs and symptoms The common symptoms of cellulitis are skin lesion, shaking, sweating, fatigue and muscle aches. Some additional symptoms of the disease are nausea and vomiting, stiffness in joints and loss of hair at the site of infection. The skin appears tight and warmth appears on the red infected area.
Causes Cellulitis is caused by two types of bacteria that include streptococcus and staphylococcus. The bacteria enter the body via any break in the skin and can causes infection and inflammation in the body. Some disrupted areas of skin include recent surgery areas, cuts, puncture wounds or ulcers. The disease can even be transmitted through insect and spider bites.
The disease is most common on the legs, especially near the shins and ankles. Risk Factors for Cellulitis Some factors that can increase the risk of developing cellulitis is if the person has a history of peripheral vascular disease and/or diabetes. As these diseases decrease the blood circulation in the lower extremities and can cause chronic ulcers in the feet, these can act as an entry point for bacterial infection.
The cracks on the skin between the toes can also increase the probability of this disease in the same area. The use of immunosuppressive and corticosteroid medications can also increase the risk of developing cellulites. Chickenpox and shingles cause broken blisters on the skin that can also act as potential entry points for bacteria. Screening and Diagnosis The doctor can diagnose the disease through a physical examination of the swollen areas and glands.
The red infected area on the skin is marked by a pen and any extension of its borders is suspected as cellulitis. The disease is confirmed through blood tests, wound cultures and other tests. An increase in white blood cell count can also indicate a bacterial infection. Treatment Cellulitis treatment includes the taking of oral antibiotics, and a close outpatient monitoring of the patient.
Antibiotics can control the infection and analgesics will control the pain. The infected area should be elevated so as to minimize swelling. In severe cases, the patient is hospitalized and given intravenous antibiotics as well as close observation. The medication should be taken as directed by the doctor and the entire course of medication should be completed even if the patient starts feeling better. Prevention The disease can be prevented from happening by taking some preventive measures when any wounds appear on the body. Wash the wound with soap and water daily, and apply an antibiotic cream and ointment.
By covering the wound with a bandage, bacteria can be prevented from entering. Daily Skin Care Always moisturize the skin so as to prevent cracking and peeling. Hands and feet can be protected by wearing footwear and gloves.
Cellulitis is an acute inflammation so always treat any superficial skin infections quickly which will avoid any distress.
The article is written by Nammy Mike. If you want to find out more useful articles, please visit Cellulite and Stomach Cancer