Acute inflammation of the skin is referred to as cellulitis. It is characterized by redness, swelling, warmth, and pain.
The lower leg is the most common site of the infection, followed by the arm, and then the head and neck.
It is not contagious. It is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. It also involves the deeper layer of the skin.
Cellulitis can affect any age group and gender but it is most common in middle-aged and elderly people.
The organism on the skin gain entrance to the dermis from microscopic break in the skin, usually dry irritated skin. They multiply there to cause cellulitis.
• Orbital cellulitis (also known as postseptal cellulitis) is cellulitis within the eye socket.
• Periorbital cellulitis (also known as preseptal cellulitis) is cellulitis of the eyelid.
• Facial cellulitis.
• Perianal cellulitis.
• Breast cellulitis.
It is common in men above the age of 45.
The most common bacteria that cause cellulitis are beta-hemolytic streptococci (groups A, B, C, G, and F).
Different types of bacteria can cause cellulitis. Children under 6 years of age get affected by H. flu (Hemophilus influenzae) bacteria on the face, arms, and upper torso.
Cellulitis can occur from a dog or cat bite or scratch. The causative organism is Pasteurella multocida bacteria. It has a short incubation period of only four to 24 hours.
Aeromonas hydrophilia, Vibrio vulnificus, and other bacteria are causes of cellulitis that develops after exposure to freshwater or seawater.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is another type of bacteria that can cause cellulitis, typically after a puncture wound.
Risk factors: This skin inflammation disease is more common in some situations.
• Dry skin.
• Previous episode of cellulitis.
• Recent injury or surgery.
• Burns and boils.
• Athlete’s foot.
• Redness of the skin.
• Pain and tenderness.
• Edema (swelling caused by fluid in the tissues).
• Skin appears warm to touch.
• The tight and glossy appearance of the skin.
• Fever and chills.
• Lymph nodes may get swollen.
• Erythema multiforme
• Gas gangrene
• Insect Bites
• Leukemia cutis
• Lymphoma cutaneous T-cell
• Mycosis fungoides
• Pyoderma gangrenosum
• Wells syndrome
• Steven Johnson syndrome
The diagnosis is based on the clinical features.
• If any pustules, crusts or erosions are present a swab test is done.
• A complete blood count shows increased white cell.
• Blood cultures in case of high fever.
Occasionally further investigations are required to rule out other possible conditions such as deep vein thrombosis of the leg or radiation damage following radiotherapy.
• Oral antibiotics.
• Intravenous antibiotics may be required in case of systemic illness.
Within 7 – 10 days of antibiotics symptoms of this skin inflammation go away. In chronic cases, there is the long-term treatment.
• Inflammation of the heart.
• Inflammation of the lymph vessels.
• Bone infection.
• Blood infection.
• The skin is shining, tense and bright red.
• Rapid swelling.
• Sharp pains and throbbing along with fever and headache.
• The affected part is rosy hue at first, later becoming vivid and purple.
• The edema appears quickly
• The parts feel sore and bruised.
• The skin of scalp, face, and genitals is affected.
• Shivering, followed by fever and headache.
• The slightest irritation on skin brings on the attack.
Why not ask your query directly to Dr. Thind’s team? Get an expert opinion FOR FREE!