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Cellulitis

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Cellulitis

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a common, potentially severe bacterial infection that affects the skin surface and other tissues underlying the skin spreading to the lymph nodes and to the bloodstream. This condition come out as swollen, red area of the skin that has a hot sensation and tender and it may extend swiftly. Cellulitis often affect the skin on the lower legs; if left untreated, the spreading infection may speedily turn fatal.

Signs and symptoms

Possible signs and symptoms of cellulitis are redness, swelling, tenderness, pain, warmth and fever. The skin changes might be accompanied by a fever expanding the area of redness and tiny red spots may appear on top of the reddened skin. Occasionally, small blisters may form and burst. When a victim notices a red, swollen and tender rash that rapidly expands, and is changing; and has fever, he or she should seek treatment immediately because the condition can cause serious infection in the body.

Causes

Cellulitis comes about as a result of the entry of streptococcus or staphylococcus types of bacteria through a crack or break in the skin. While cellulitis can occur anywhere on an individual's body, it most often than not affects the lower leg. The bacteria will possibly enter disrupted areas of skin for instance where one has had recent surgery, an ulcer, through cuts, puncture wounds or dermatitis. In addition, cellulitis may be transmitted through certain insect bites, through swollen skin and in areas of dirty, flaky skin.

Risk factors

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The following factors can increase a person's susceptibility to developing cellulitis: a weakened immune system due to conditions like HIV/AIDS, chronic leukemia, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease; certain skin conditions like athlete's foot, shingles or chickenpox cause breaks in the skin, any cut, burn or fracture. Besides, chronic swelling of the arms or legs, people with history of cellulitis and obese people stand a higher risk of developing cellulitis.

Complications

The reddened skin may mean a deeper and more serious illness in the underlying layers of one's skin. When the bacteria get deep inside the skin, it can spread rapidly throughout the body, entering the lymph nodes and bloodstream. Repeated episodes of cellulitis often leads damages the lymphatic drainage system and causes chronic swelling of the affected edge.

 

 

 

Treatment

The treatment generally is a prescription oral antibiotic which may be taken up to a period of two weeks.  The general practitioner will know within three days of starting an antibiotic whether the infection is responding to treatment. In most cases the symptoms of cellulitis disappear after a few days, but if they don’t clear up, one may need to be hospitalized and receive antibiotics intravenously. The doctor also might suggest elevating the affected area to speed up the recovery.

Prevention

Wash the wound daily with soap and water gently to prevent aggravation, apply an antibiotic cream or ointment to provide protection to the surface wound and watch for the signs of infection such as redness, and pain. Practice good hygiene and avoid sharing your personal belongings such as towels and clothes with members of your family or teammates.

Diabetic individuals and those with poor circulation should be extremely wary of their skins to prevent skin wounds and treat any cuts quickly. Such skin care measures include moisturizing the skin regularly, regular checking of the feet for signs of injury, carefully trimming the fingernails and toenails, wearing appropriate footwear and gloves and promptly treating superficial skin disease for instance athlete's foot.

References

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