What is Cellulitis?
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection to the skin. When a body part has cellulitis, it usually becomes red, painful, and swollen, which are typical signs of ongoing skin inflammation.
Usual causes of cellulitis are the staphylococcus bacteria and streptococcus bacteria. Although these bacteria are commonly present in human skin, they can cause inflammation when they penetrate to the deeper layer of the dermis. Bacterial penetration may be secondary to wounds or cuts in the skin, but for some people no skin opening or cut is needed to contract the infection. High-risk for this internal penetration of bacteria are those with diabetes and those with weak immune systems. Treatment must commence early in the form of antibiotics, as the bacterial infection may spread to the circulatory and lymphatic systems, which could lead to eventual death.
The pain, redness, and swelling in cellulitis usually progresses if left untreated. Various body parts may be affected, but the legs, arms, and face are commonly affected in adults. Children meanwhile usually have cellulitis in the anal area and the face. Cuts in the skin are the usual points of entry for the bacteria that causes cellulitis. These cuts may be due to insect bites, skin rashes, and/or surgical wounds. Various conditions can also lead to bacterial infection like psoriasis, athlete’s foot, eczema, and skin ulcerations.
The good thing about cellulitis though is that it is usually responsive to antibiotics. These drugs are usually prescribed for a full week. Antibiotics may also be taken orally or may be taken intravenously or through direct injections to the skin. For severe cases, hospital confinement may be necessary. Every person must make sure though that cellulitis be treated immediately once symptoms are noticed. If left untreated, the bacterial infection could spread to other parts of the body and lead to more life-threatening conditions like sepsis, meningitis, and thrombophlebitis among others.
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