What is cellulitis?

What is cellulitis?

What is cellulitis? Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin. Unlike impetigo, which is a very superficial skin infection, cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that also involves the skin’s deeper layers: the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.

What are the treatment options for cellulitis?

If your cellulitis recurs, your doctor may recommend preventive antibiotics. To help prevent cellulitis and other infections, take these precautions when you have a skin wound: Wash your wound daily with soap and water. Do this gently as part of your normal bathing.

What type of bacteria causes cellulitis?

The majority of cellulitis infections are caused by infection with either strep ( Streptococcus) or staph ( Staphylococcus) bacteria. The most common bacteria that cause cellulitis are beta-hemolytic streptococci (groups A, B, C, G, and F).

What is the most common site of cellulitis?

The lower leg is the most common site of the infection (particularly in the area of the tibia or shinbone and in the foot; see the illustration below), followed by the arm, and then the head and neck areas. In special circumstances, such as following surgery or trauma wounds, cellulitis can develop in the abdomen or chest areas.

How is cellulitis diagnosed?

Cellulitis occurs when certain types of bacteria enter the skin through a cut or crack. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria can cause this infection. The infection can start in skin injuries such as: Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose cellulitis just by looking at your skin. A physical exam might reveal:

How can cellulitis be prevented?

Good wound care and hygiene are important for preventing cellulitis. Different types of bacteria can cause cellulitis, which is an infection of the deeper layers of the skin.

How does cellulitis affect the legs?

Cellulitis frequently affects the legs. Cellulitis is not contagious. Complications of severe cellulitis include the spread of the infection from the affected area into the bloodstream or to other body tissues. Cellulitis is treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics. Cellulitis usually begins as a small area of pain and redness on the skin.