Cellulitis is a common skin infection caused by bacteria. It usually begins as a small area of tenderness, swelling, and redness. As the area grows, the person infected may develop a fever, chills, sweats and swollen lymph nodes. Cellulitis is most commonly seen on lower legs, although it can occur anywhere on your body or face. This is a serious skin infection and may be life-threatening if left untreated.
Cellulitis is caused by bacteria; the two most common ones are staphylococcus and streptococcus. Some risk factors for acquiring cellulitis include: cracking skin between toes, skin wounds, insect bites, ulcers from diabetes, medications that suppress the immune system, and recent surgery wounds.
Symptoms for this condition include:
- Fever, chills, fatigue
- Pain or tenderness
- Redness or inflammation
- Skin sore or rash
- Tight, glossy, stretched skin
- Warmth in infected area
The good news is that cellulitis is not contagious and can be treated with a prescription antibiotic. Your doctor will most likely start you on an oral antibiotic and check up with you in the following 2-3 days, making sure you continue the medication for 2 full weeks. The symptoms generally clear up after a few days.
Preventing from future infections is crucial as well. Make sure to wash any skin wound you acquire with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment right away. Also, daily good skin-care measures will be very beneficial towards preventing unwanted skin conditions such as cellulitis.