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Friday, August 18, 2017

Cellulitis

Cellulitis



Definition

  • Cellulitis is a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender, and it may spread rapidly.
  • Skin on lower legs is most commonly affected, though cellulitis can occur anywhere on your body or face. Cellulitis may affect only your skin's surface, or cellulitis may also affect tissues underlying your skin and can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream.
  • Left untreated, the spreading infection may rapidly turn life-threatening. 

Symptoms
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Warmth
  • Fever


Causes
  • Cellulitis occurs when one or more types of bacteria enter through a crack or break in your skin. The two most common types of bacteria that are causes of cellulitis are streptococcus and staphylococcus. The incidence of a more serious staphylococcus infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasing.
  • Although cellulitis can occur anywhere on your body, the most common location is the lower leg. Bacteria is most likely to enter disrupted areas of skin, such as where you've had recent surgery, cuts, puncture wounds, an ulcer, athlete's foot or dermatitis.
  • Certain types of insect or spider bites also can transmit the bacteria that start the infection. Areas of dry, flaky skin also can be an entry point for bacteria, as can swollen skin.





Risk Factors
  • Known injury.
  • Weakened immune system. 
  • Skin conditions. 
  • Chronic swelling of your arms or legs (lymphedema).
  • History of cellulitis.
  • Intravenous drug use.

Complication
  • This reddened skin or rash may signal a deeper, more serious infection of the inner layers of skin. Once below your skin, the bacteria can spread rapidly throughout your body, entering your lymph nodes and your bloodstream. Recurrent episodes of cellulitis may actually damage the lymphatic drainage system and cause chronic swelling of the affected extremity.
  • In rare cases, the infection can spread to the deep layer of tissue called the fascial lining. Flesh-eating strep, also called necrotizing fasciitis, is an example of a deep-layer infection. It represents an extreme emergency.

Treatment and Drugs
  • Cellulitis treatment usually is a prescription oral antibiotic. Within three days of starting an antibiotic, let your doctor know whether the infection is responding to treatment. You'll need to take the antibiotic for up to 14 days. In most cases, signs and symptoms of cellulitis disappear after a few days. If they don't clear up, if they're extensive or if you have a high fever, you may need to be hospitalized and receive antibiotics through your veins (intravenously).

Prevention
  • Wash your wound daily with soap and water.
  • Apply an antibiotic cream or ointment. 
  • Watch for signs of infection. Redness, pain and drainage all signal possible infection and the need for medical evaluation.
  • People who Diabetic foot
  • Inspect your feet daily. Regularly check your feet for signs of injury so you can catch any infections early.
  • Moisturize your skin regularly. Lubricating your skin helps prevent cracking and peeling.
  • Trim your fingernails and toenails carefully. Take care not to injure the surrounding skin.
  • Protect your hands and feet. Wear appropriate footwear and gloves.
  • Promptly treat any superficial skin infections, such as athlete's foot. Infections on the surface of the skin (superficial) can easily spread from person to person. Don't wait to start treatment.

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