If you have cellulitis infection symptoms then you will want to get proper treatment quickly to prevent serious health complications. This article will provide an easy to read and understand explanation of this common bacterial infection and what you must do if cellulitis symptoms appear.
Cellulits Symptoms And Causes
Symptoms include the sudden onset of a red and tender skin inflammation that can grow to many inches in diameter in a short period. The inflamed area will typically have distinct borders and the skin will feel warm and be tender or painful.
The inflammation will be accompanied by fever (with periodic chills and sweats) and a general poor feeling (malaise). Muscle aches and pains may also be present. The condition may be more common on the face or legs but can occur at any area of the body.
Erysipelas is a severe form of cellulitis that will produce similar symptoms and may also include vomiting as a symptom.
Cellulitis is due to a bacterial infection (typically staphylococcus or streptococcus). An outbreak of cellulitis can occur when bacteria that normally lives on the surface of the skin enters the body through a break, cut, insect or animal bite, diabetic ulcer, surgical wound or other trauma to the skin. When the bacteria enters the body it can result in infection and inflammation.
Cellulitis Diagnosis and Treatment
If the symptoms of cellulitis are noted it is important to see a doctor due to the fact that untreated cellulitis can spread quickly and lead to complicating conditions such as bone infection (osteomyelitis), inflammation of the lymph vessels (lymphangitis), meningitis (associated with cellulitis on the face), sepsis, shock and death of the surrounding tissue.
A doctor will perform a physical examination of the affected area and possibly blood tests such as a blood culture and complete blood count (CBC)
Typical treatment will involve the use of antibiotics to control the infection and prevent complicating factors from developing. Aspirin or other analgesics medications may be used to reduce fever or discomfort. Cool magnesium sulfate compresses may help ease inflammation. Rest is usually required to recover.
Hospitalization may be required for those with compromised immune systems due to cancer or HIV or for cases that include a very high fever, elevated blood pressure or continual nausea and vomiting. An infection near the eyes may also require a hospital stay.