Cellulitis is a common,often painful bacterial skin infection with the affected area appearing swollen and painful and warm to the touch.
It is caused by the bacteria staphylococcus and streptococcus and initially appears as pink to red minimally inflamed skin and can rapidly become deeper red, swollen and warm as the infection increases.Blisters or pus filled bumps can also be present.
It mostly affects the legs but can also occur in the arms,face and other areas and mostly occurs in regions that have been damaged or inflamed such as contaminated cuts.
Persons with poor blood circulation,peripheral artery disease and diabetic persons are most at risk of getting cellulitis.Other factors that increase the risk of getting cellulitis include:
* Injury- any cut or fracture gives bacteria an entry point.
*A weakened immune system.
*Skin conditions- skin disorders such as shingles and eczma can give bacteria an entry point.
*Chronic swelling of the arms or legs.
*A family history of cellulitis.
Cellulitis can cause symptoms such as warmness,blisters,red rashes,swelling,chills,fever,malaise,pus,skin dimpling,a red area of the skin that tends to expand,tenderness.
Cellulitis can be painful as it causes the skin to swell because it presses the skin out.It is important to prevent the condition or seek medical attention quickly to prevent it from spreading further because it can result in symptoms such as a fast heartbeat diarrhoea,confusion, loss of consciousness and high temperatures.
It can also spread to the lymph nodes and blood stream and damage the lymphatic drainage system and ultimately become life threatening.
This condition can be prevented by avoiding skin injuries, treating wounds promptly,keeping nails well manicured,keeping the skin clean and moistured,watching for signs of infection.
Hydrogen peroxide and alcohol are not recommended for treatment of cellulitis as they cause it to heal slowly.
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