Cellulitis By: Laraib Sial What is Cellulitis? • The word literally means inflammation of the cells. • Is known as a common spreading bacterial infection of the lower layers of skin (dermis) and the subcutaneous tissues (areas underneath the skin) caused by a bacterial infection. • The main bacteria involved are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. Below are pictures of this bacteria. What are some symptoms of cellulitis? • Usually begins as a small area of pain and redness on the skin. This area spreads to surrounding tissues, resulting in the typical signs of inflammation. • Fever with chills and sweats and swollen lymph nodes (swollen glands) • Swelling • Infected areas becomes more red, painful, and larger as time passes and if there are red streaks extending from original area Where does cellulitis occur? • Anywhere on the body • The leg is the most common site of the infection, particularly in the area of the tibia or shinbone and in the foot, followed by the arm, and then the head and neck areas. • In unfortunate circumstances cellulitis can develop in the abdomen or chest areas following surgery or trauma wounds. • People with morbid obesity can also develop cellulitis in the abdominal skin. Cellulitis in the eye, arm, and legs How do you get cellulitis? • An injury to your skin, such as a cut, surgical wound, burn, or animal or insect bite. • Skin problems, such as ulcers, eczema, psoriasis, or a fungal infection like athlete's foot. • Certain medical conditions. These include diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, or a weak immune system. • Fluid buildup (edema) in the legs or arms. • Had liposuction to remove excess fat. • Injected illegal drugs under your skin. • Those who handle fish, meat, poultry, or soil without using gloves. Who is at risk for cellulitis? • Anyone! Males and females and people of all races are equally likely to become infected. • Those whose immune systems are weakened for any reason (including from chemotherapy for cancer or other immune-suppressing drugs) and those with diabetes are at highest risk for developing cellulitis. How is cellulitis treated? What happens if not treated? • Antibiotics are essential for the treatment of cellulitis such as penicillin derivatives. • If the infection is mild, you may be able to take antibiotic pills at home. • In more severe cases, hospitalization and administration of intravenous antibiotics may be required. • If it’s not treated, the bacteria can spread quickly through the body and cause sepsis, an extreme response by the body’s defense system. • If cellulitis on the face spreads to the brain it will result in the infection of meningitis (inflammation of the meninges-the tissues that surround the brain or spinal cord. • There are other risky problems such as thrombophlebitis which are formation of blood clots. Bibliography • "Cellulitis: What Is Cellulitis and What Causes it? ." WebMD - Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2010. <http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-andtreatments/tc/cellulitis-topic-overview>. • "Cellulitis." MedicineNet.com We bring Doctors Knowledge to you. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2010. <www.medicinenet.com/cellulitis/article.htm>.