What is Cellulitis?
Cellulitis skin infection may start anyplace in the body but it ecommonly occurs in the face or neck in children and infants. Adults get cellulitis commonly in the lower extremities. Types of cellulitis are categorized according to the location the infection is localized. There is cellulitis of the face, cellulitis of the eye and eyelid, cellulitis of the arms or hands, cellulitis if the breast, cellulitis in the perianal area, and cellulitis in the legs or feet. Various cellulitis infections are unilateral meaning they occur only on either the left or right side of the body.
Cellulitis is a skin infection that is caused by bacteria. Some types of cellulitis are known and named according to the area the bacteria infected. Different cellulitis infections are breast cellulitis, facial cellulitis, periorbital (eyelid) cellulitis, orbital (eye) cellulitis, hand or arm cellulitis, perianal cellulitis and lower leg or foot cellulitis. Younger patients generally have facial or neck infections though, adults usually get cellulitis in the lower extremities.
The infection come in the body through scrapes, cuts, wounds, tattoos, surgery openings, insect or animal bites, ulcers and other unnecessary opening in the skin. Because of this, it is best to right away clean a lesion or disinfect an opening in the skin to stop the access of such bacteria.
Cellulitis foot infection is mostly and commonly caused by Streptococcus beta-hemolytic bacteria such as S. pyogenes and a Staphylococcus species S. aureus. These gram-positive bacteria are part of the skin's natural flora. They both secrete enzymes that damage the skin cells and keep away from localized infection. In various cases, the infection spreads quickly and turns into a severe cellulitis case in just a few days.
Symptoms of Cellulitis
Cellulitis can be occurred anywhere in the body but it most commonly grows on the legs. The major symptoms of Cellulitis are skin redness or inflammation that spreads in size as the infection spreads, glossy, tight, stretched occurrence of the skin, injury or rash, tenderness of the area, skin sudden onset, warmth over the redskin, fever. There are some other signs of infection contain chills, shaking, fatigue, warm skin, muscle aches, sweating, myalgias. Several of the additional symptoms of Cellulitis that may be connected with this disease are nausea, vomiting and hair loss at the site of infection.
The symptoms of cellulitis may include:
- A fever
- Redness or irritation of your skin
- A tight, glossy, swollen appearance of the skin
- Feeling of warmth in the affected area
- Pain and tenderness in the affected area
- A skin sore or rash that appears and grows rapidly
- A central region that has a swelling with pus formation
Some general symptoms of a further serious cellulitis infection are:
- A feeling of illness
- Muscle aches
- Warm skin
Cellulitis infection regularly affects the legs though it may occur on any part of the body. It is as a rule unilateral, meaning only the right or the left half of the body may be affected. Symptoms of cellulitis may start out as a small tender area with swelling and redness. As it grow, pain may also be experienced along with the appearance of red streaks coming from the infected area. These symptoms could be accompanied by fever, chills, headache, body or muscle ache, weakness and fatigue.
Causes of Cellulitis
Cellulitis is generally caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria can infect the deeper layers of your skin if it’s broken, for instance because of an insect bite or cut, or if it’s cracked and dry. Cellulitis can be caused by various types of bacteria. Several of these bacteria live on our skin without causing a problem. Once they get inside the body, however, they become harmful. Staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria are the very common causes of cellulitis. Other than streptococcus and staphylococcus are the most common originator of these bacteria, which are on average exist on the skin but cause no actual infection until the skin is broken. So cellulitis is started by entering by way of a break in the skin. This break can't be noticeable by naked eye.
There are several causes of cellulitis some of which are as under.
- Inject drugs
- Find it difficult to move around
- Have a wound from surgery
- Have a weakened immune system, because of chemotherapy treatment or diabetes
- Have lymphoedema, which causes fluid buildup under the skin
- Have pressure ulcers (bedsores)
- Ulcers from certain diseases, including diabetes and vascular disease
- Wound from a recent surgery
- Have poor circulation in your arms, legs, hands or feet, for example because you are overweight
Other microorganisms and underlying diseases may as well be one of the causes of cellulitis. These microorganisms may come in the body through cuts, scrapes, blisters, wounds, insect bites and even ulcers and penetrates the skin layers. Tattoos and surgical wounds may as well be entry points of cellulitis-causing bacteria. Various infections may even cause swelling to nearby lymph nodes and eventually increase infection through the blood.
There are some reported cases of cellulitis where it appears on areas of trauma, the broken skin, such as the skin near ulcers or surgical wounds. Also various wounds appearing after exposure to fresh water may be lead to Aeromonas hydrophila, a gram-negative rod.
Diagnosis of Cellulitis
Cellulitis can generally be diagnosed from its characteristic appearance. Blood tests and tissue cultures may be used to verify the presence of bacterial infection. In cases of orbital cellulitis, a CT scan (computerised tomography) may be recommended in order to exactly identify the amount of the infection. Your doctor can generally diagnose cellulitis on sight, but they will perform a physical exam to determine the extent of your
condition. This examination might reveal:
- Swelling of the skin
- Redness and warmth of the affected area
- Swollen glands
- A physical assessment is performed to check for signs such as wounds or skin breaks near the affected area.
- Imaging studies such as X-ray, CT scan or MRI scan may help determine the extent of the infection and aid diagnosis.
- If uncontrolled diabetes is a contributing factor, then blood sugar may be high.
- Blood creatinine may be raised in cases of group A streptococcal infection, toxic shock syndrome or clostridium infection.
- A reduced calcium level indicates staphylococcal or streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
It is necessary to seek prompt medical recommendation if cellulitis is suspected so that an accurate diagnosis of cellulitis can be made and helpful treatment given. To diagnose the type of infection you have, your medical doctor will probably do some tests. If they think you might have preseptal cellulitis, they may test tissue from your nose or eye. If they believe orbital cellulitis, they may do a blood test.
In several cases, your medical doctor may also have you get a scan of the affected area. These images will help your doctor see where the infection is within the orbit.
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