Cellulitis is a type of non-infectious skin infection. It tends to infect the deeper layers of the skin (unlike Impetigo which infects the superficial layers), and is usually caused by Staphylococcus or Streptococci bacteria. It is unpleasant and worth avoiding, and can become especially unpleasent if you have diabetes, in which case it can be fatal.
There are several different types of Cellulitis
Standard Cellulitis commonly affects the lower parts of the leg.
Facial Cellulitis usually only occurs in adults over 50 and children under three.
Perianal Cellulitis usually only occurs in children
Preseptal and Orbital Cellulitis effects the eyelid (preseptal is minor, orbital will be worse).
The main cause of cellulitis is for bacteria to infect via some type of skin lesion. This can be a simple cut, scrape, bite or blister, or can sometimes occur after surgery. It can also occur if you have been taking immunosuppressive medicines. People with a history of various other ailments, such as diabetes, ulcers, etc, are also at risk.
Symptoms- these can include some or all of the following -
- Raised, painful, warm, inflamed skin
- Scaly Skin
- Hairloss (over the infected area)
- General Malaise
- Blistering, pustulations
See here for a first hand account of suffering from cellulitis.
Most treatment involves the use of anti-biotics. Because the infection attacks the deeper layer of the skin tablets can sometimes be ineffective and it is instead necessary for the anti-biotics to be applied directly into the blood stream via drip or injection, and the patient will require hospitalisation. This can continue for many days. When the infection has started to die down it is then possible for the patient to leave hospital and continue with a course of tablets.
In extreme cases (usually where the patient is diabetic) the treatment can unfortunately include amputation. Cellulitis is rarely (but occasionally) fatal.
Remember : Always consult your doctor...