The skin is the outer covering of the body, and it is sensitive to different types of bacterial infections. It needs utmost care for it is prone to any skin breakouts which is being triggered by some bacteria. One such skin breakouts is cellulitis caused by certain bacteria that enter any crack or cut in the skin.
Causes of cellulitis
Cellulitis is being caused by a bacterium medically known as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. These bacteria penetrate the skin that has skin injuries like surgical wounds, cuts, and bug bites.
Cellulitis can easily be detected for it is characterized by redness in the skin, and as well as it is swollen and is painful to touch. It rapidly spreads out into the different parts of the body and is usually found in the lower extremities, but it can also be seen in the facial area or any part of the body.
Though the infection is superficial, or it is only visible to the surface of the skin, but the infection may affect the body’s underneath tissues. It is alarming that this simple infection may affect the body’s bloodstream and can even spread in the lymph nodes.
Cellulitis is something that should not be brushed aside as something that is not a medical concern for this infection may be considered“life-threatening” for it affects the body’s tissues and bloodstream.
Some symptoms are manifested when the skin is infected by cellulitis. Let us take a closer look at those symptoms to understand them better and take proper medical treatment if the skin infection is cellulitis.
Visible symptoms of cellulitis
There is a great possibility that it is cellulitis if you experience the following;
The skin is inflamed and characterized by redness. You can feel severe pain in the affected area, and it is painful to touch. The rashes and the skin sore rapidly spread in the different parts of the body and which you may experience a warm feeling in the affected area. There is also the possibility that you may feel ill or may have a fever.
The serious case of cellulitis is manifested by the body’s shaking, chills, dizziness, sweating, and lightheadedness. In this case, it is most likely that the cellulitis is already spreading to the entire body or already affecting the bloodstream or the underneath body tissues.
Factors that increase the risk of being infected with cellulitis
Some factors increase the risk of being infected with cellulitis such as having cuts or skin injury if you have eczema and athlete’s foot. There is also a higher chance of getting this infection if you have a weak immune system, having medical issues such as diabetes or drug abuse.
Though it is not considered contagious, it cannot be transferred from one person to another. Still, there is a higher chance of being infected by cellulitis once you have close physical contact with a person with cellulitis, and you have an open wound, cut, or eczema. The bacteria will find their way to your skin through the cut, wounds, and eczema.
Other factors are being considered as “risk factors” like obesity and age. It was being medically noted that cellulitis is prevalent in those people having weight issues or obesity. The age is also being considered for most patients infected by cellulitis in the bracket of “middle-aged” person.
Types of cellulitis
The type of cellulitis is being classified according to the location of the infection in the body. The cellulitis that is developing around the eye area is called periorbital cellulitis. It is facial cellulitis if the infection appears in the face. There is also breast cellulitis when the infection is in the breast area. The cellulitis that is on the anal orifice is being termed perianal cellulitis.
Medical Diagnosis of Cellulitis
The physician to properly assess the condition will conduct a swab or biopsy. It is in this way that the doctor will know the type of bacteria that is present in the cellulitis. The laboratory result will give a definite type of bacteria and may rule out other health conditions that have an appearance of cellulitis.
It is through this laboratory result that the doctor can give appropriate treatment based on the type of bacteria.
Treatment and medication of cellulitis
This painful bacterial infection that affects the inner skin layer may not be as simple as a mere skin infection for it may become life-threatening once left untreated. It may be classified as mild cellulitis if the infection is localized or only in one area. It becomes a serious nature if the cellulitis rapidly spreads in the body that already leads to sepsis. The body’s immune system affects the rapid spread of the infection.
Cellulitis can be treated with antibiotics especially in those mild cases of cellulitis. The body will positively respond to the antibiotics within the period of seven to fourteen days of oral antibiotic treatment. Initially, during the treatment, the cellulitis may be worsened, but the person will feel a great health improvement after two days of treatment.
Your physician will assess which type of antibiotic is appropriate to cure the cellulitis after considering some factors such as the type of bacteria, age of the patient, and other personal conditions. The doctor may opt to prescribe a low dose of antibiotics to prevent bacterial reoccurrence.
However, in those severe cases of cellulitis already accompanied by chills, fever, vomiting, and the person experiencing a reoccurrence of cellulitis, it is a must to have hospital treatment. In the hospital, the person with a severe case of cellulitis will be given antibiotic treatment intravenously.
Complications of Cellulitis
Certain complications may arise especially if the cellulitis is left untreated. These complications are the following;
- Blood infection and sepsis
This complication occurs once the bacteria already penetrated the bloodstream. Once this complication occurs it may already be considered as life-threatening that prompt medical attention must be secured.
The person experiencing this complication may experience rapid breathing, low blood pressure, fever, sweaty skin, pale, and being cold.
- The infection spreads in different regions of the body
It may already be considered as a serious complication when the infection had already affected the other regions of the body such as the heart, bones, and muscles. When this happens, you must immediately seek medical treatment.
- Permanent Swelling
One of the complications that may occur once the cellulitis is left untreated is the permanent swelling of the infected area.
To prevent this complication, it is a must that proper medical treatment must be made. It is in this way that the infection is properly treated to avoid the serious complication that may arise.
Ways to prevent cellulitis
You may already have heard that prevention is better than cure, so it is a must that you take precautionary measures for you not to be infected with cellulitis. In the event, you got a cut or a wound you must immediately clean the affected area and make sure to cover the wound area with a clean bandage.
Be vigilant to any signs of infection in the cut or wound areas such as redness or pain. You must also make sure to properly apply skin moisturizer to prevent any skin cracking.
If you have a medical condition of diabetes, it is a must that you need to be very cautious about any signs of body infection. It is better to constantly check your feet for any skin injury or open wound.
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