Cellulitis Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

Cellulitis is a spreading, inflammatory infection, somewhat similar to erysipelas but usually less acute. It most commonly affects the skin, but it usually involves deeper structures as well. It is often found elsewhere than on the face, and the affected skin area does not show a distinct border.It may be caused by either streptococci or staphylococci, which gain entrance through a break in the skin but do not cause pus formation.

The skin area concerned is hot, red, and painful.Without proper treatment, the condition is persistent and tends to recur.The involved area may become permanently swollen or thickened, especially after persistent or recurrent attacks.Although cellulitis can occur anywhere on your body or face but Most commonly affected area is Skin on lower legs. Cellulitis may affect only your skin’s surface but in some cases it goes deeper and affects tissues present beneath the skin and enters into blood stream.

Cellulitis Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms of cellulitis

Sign and symptoms of cellulitis may variate depending upon the affected area of skin but some common sign and symptoms are mentioned below

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Warmth
  • Rashes
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Itching

Causes of cellulitis

Cellulitis originates when one or more types of pathogens breach skin barrier and enter through a crack or break in your skin. There are two major types of bacteria that play important role in the pathophysiology of cellulitis.These are streptococcus and staphylococcus.The incidence of a more serious staphylococcus infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasing.

Although cellulitis can occur anywhere on your body or face but Most commonly affected area is where you’ve had recent surgery, cuts, puncture wounds, an ulcer, athlete’s foot or dermatitis.Certain types of insect or spider bites also can transmit the bacteria that start the infection. Areas of dry, flaky skin also can be an entry point for bacteria, as can swollen skin.

Treatment of cellulitis

 Treatment of cellulitis is truly based on antibiotic therapy.Antibiotics therapy will ease the symptoms within 3-4 days depending upon the severity of condition.But the recommended course of antibiotic therapy is 14 days for complete eradication of infection.In most cases sign and symptoms of cellulitis disappears within few days of antibiotic therapy.In rare cases you may need to be hospitalized and receive antibiotics through your veins (intravenously).

Selection of antibiotic therapy against streptococci and staphylococci depends upon patient condition like liver or kidney impairment may be critical factor in the selection  of antibiotic therapy in cellulitis treatment. Along-with oral antibiotics you can also use some topical applications to decrease the chances of spreading infection to the area of skin.

About Dr. Arslan Malik

Dr. Arslan Malik
Arslan Malik is noted health blogger, public health activist, aspiring dreamer and avid reader. With doctor in pharmacy, he has worked closely with various health organizations, multinational pharmaceuticals and community health programs. Beside his professional practice, he has an avid interest in writing and teaching Physiology and Medicines. He covers variety of topics from Nutrition and Natural Care to Diseases, Treatments, Drug Interactions, Preventive Care and Clinical Research.

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