What is Cellulitis?

Cellulitis is the most familiar cause of limb swelling. The connective tissues are diffusely inflamed with serious inflammation of the dermal and subcutaneous layers of the skin. It happens when an entry point through the first line of skin barriers has been injured permitting the normal microflora or exogenous bacteria commonly the Group A Streptococcus and Staphylococcus to penetrate and release toxins in the tissues. This is non-contagious since the infection is limited to the deeper layers of the skin and the epidermis provides a cover over the infection.

The predisposing factors for cellulitis include bites, blistering, skin damage, severe acne, chicken pox, tinea pedis, tattooing, pruritic skin rash, recent surgical operation, dry skin, puncture wounds or in any ways that break the skin.

Old age, weakened immune system and diabetes are especially more at risk to contracting the disease than the general population. Because of the impairment of blood circulation in the legs leading to foot ulcers in diabetic patients, they are markedly prone to feet cellulitis. Poor management of blood glucose levels tolerates the bacteria to multiply at speed in the affected tissue and facilitates swift progression as infection goes through the lymph nodes and bloodstream.

This bacterial skin infection usually starts as a small area of inflammation that extends to neighboring skin areas. As the tender area begins to expand, the sick person develops hyperthermia, sometimes with chills and sweats, and swollen lymph nodes.

The affected individual is asked to elevate the involved area above the hear level. Every 2 to 4 hours, warm, moist packs are applied to the affected site. In mild cases of cellulitis, the treatment can be on an outpatient basis using oral antibiotic therapy. If severe, hospitalization is required and treated with an antibiotic intravenously with duration of 7 to 14 days.



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