What Is Cellulitis?
Cellulitis is one of the infectious diseases that affect the skin. It is a bacteria infection that attacks the layer of fat and soft tissue of the skin.
According to reports, there are about 14.5 million cases of cellulitis yearly across the US.
It typically occurs when bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcus penetrate the skin through a cut, crack, injury, or insect bite. While it is most evident on the lower legs, it can affect other places, such as the face, arms, or anywhere in the body.
The affected area of the skin will become red and swollen but mostly painful. Left untreated, it can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream and become life-threatening.
You should contact us if you live in Memphis, Tennessee, and are struggling with this condition. We have a team of experienced doctors who run different diagnoses to ascertain the severity of the condition and treatment options.
This article explores all you need to know about this infection and how to seek treatment from a team of experts.
Types of Cellulitis
There are various types of this condition, which are dependent on where the infection occurs in patients’ bodies. They include:
- Facial cellulitis. This occurs on the face and is typically caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus.
- Orbital cellulitis. This is a severe case that affects the tissues located behind the eye. Symptoms may include loss of vision, fever, and pain.
- Breast cellulitis. This occurs on the tissue of the breast and is typically caused by bacteria penetrating the skin through a fissure or crack. Common symptoms include tenderness, warmth, or redness in the affected area.
- Periorbital cellulitis. This condition affects the eye tissues and eyelids. Also known as preseptal cellulitis is characterized by swelling, pain, and redness around the affected area.
- Lower leg cellulitis. This typically occurs on the lower legs. Medical search results suggest this is common among people with lymphedema and poor blood circulation.
- Perianal cellulitis. This occurs around the anus and is often caused by poor hygiene and conditions such as diabetes. Some of the common symptoms include itching, pain, and redness.
It is vital to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing any of these forms of cellulitis – as it could lead to severe complications if left untreated.
Risk Factors That Cause Cellulitis
Multiple risk factors cause the development of this disease. They include the following:
- Affected immune system. Patients with a compromised immune system, such as those affected with cancer, diabetes, or HIV/AIDS, are prone to have this infectious diseases like this.
- Skin injury. A cut, incision, insect bite, or scrape, can allow fungal to penetrate the skin and result in infections.
- Obesity. Overweight people are likely to have skin folds, which can often become moist and cause this skin infection.
- Old age. Infectious diseases like this affect people of all ages. However, it is rampant in older adults who are at risk due to poor blood circulation and weak immune systems.
- Poor hygiene. Healthcare providers confirm that not washing your hands or properly tending your wounds will cause this infection.
Symptoms of Cellulitis
Some of the common symptoms of this condition, depending on the location, include the following:
- Skin changes
- Lymph node swelling
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Cellulitis
Cellulitis is not a sexually transmitted disease and cannot be passed from one person to another. This is because it occurs in the deeper layers of the skin, and it is quite unlikely for someone to be affected with cellulitis by another person.
However, since it typically develops from open wounds, it is vital to keep your skin protected.
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
This is a typical bacteria that is resistant to common antibiotics, including amoxicillin, methicillin, and penicillin. MRSA is also one of the leading causes of cellulitis.
Due to its severity, it is often difficult to treat this condition using conventional medicine. Treatment using more potent antibiotics such as daptomycin and vancomycin would suffice in some cases.
Diagnosing and Treating Cellulitis
It is vital to seek medical attention if you’re struggling with cellulitis. Below are the following steps to take to get treated.
Seeing a Podiatrist for Care:
First things first, you need to see a podiatrist in Tennessee who will conduct several blood tests to rule out other conditions. Your doctor will also recommend helpful tips to prevent such occurrences in the future.
Preparing For Your Appointment
Your healthcare provider will ask you the following questions to ascertain the best mode of treatment.
They may ask you to:
- List your symptoms
- List key personal information, such as if you’ve had any recent surgeries, injuries, animal bites, or insect bites
- List your current medications, vitamins, and supplements you’re taking and the dosage.
Treatment for Cellulitis
The treatment of cellulitis involves the following:
- Depending on the severity, prescribed antibiotics can be oral or intravenously (through the vein)
- Wound care
- Resting the affected area
- Elevating the affected area from external pressure
- Pain relief medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
Our expertise cuts across several fields. Our services include a comprehensive diagnosis of your condition before providing you with options for treatment. We will also provide you with recommendations to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Reach out to us today to see how we can help you.