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Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infection. The affected skin appears swollen and red. It can be really painful. 

Causes

Bacteria enters through a crack in the skin and causes Cellulitis. It is most commonly caused by streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria. The bacterial infection usually affects the skin on the lower legs. The infection can also occur in the face, arms and other areas. 

  • The most prone gateways are recent surgery spots, cuts, fracture, burns, wounds etc.
  • Skin conditions such as eczema, ulcer, athlete’s foot or dermatitis can also increase the risk.
  • Bacteria can also enter through areas of dry, flaky skin or swollen skin. 
  • Animal bites can cause cellulitis.
  • Conditions that weaken the immune system can also be a factor
  • Chronic swelling in the skin cause bacteria to enter the body.
  • Obesity makes one prone to Cellulitis

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Redness of skin
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Warmth over the infection
  • Fever
  • Blisters

Although Cellulitis is a common infection, it can turn fatal rapidly. It’s important to identify and treat cellulitis early because the condition can spread at a fast rate throughout body. If unattended, the infection can spread to lymph nodes and bloodstream and can be potentially life-threatening. 

Seek emergency care if:

  • You have a red, swollen, tender rash or a rash that’s changing rapidly
  • You have a fever

Moisturising skin is important because it helps prevent cracking and peeling. Simple things like avoiding injuries while trimming fingernails and toenails can prevent such infections. Always ensure that skin infections and wounds are treated and attended to. Give special care to your wounds, so as to prevent Cellulitis:

  • Wash wound daily with soap and water. 
  • Apply a protective cream or ointment. 
  • Remember to cover wound with a bandage. 

If cellulitis recurs after treatment it can damage the lymphatic drainage system and cause chronic swelling of the affected limb. So consult a specialist in the beginning. 

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