Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection in deep skin and subcutaneous tissue.

It should not be confused with ‘cellulite,’ which is an unrelated descriptive term for a minor herniation of subcutaneous fat in fibrous connective tissue, a dimpling common in women’s lower bodies.

Description

Cellulitis arrives quickly, presents as areas of red and painful swelling, typically on legs, but possible anywhere, and sometimes feels like terrible flu.

This is a ‘staph’ or ‘strep’ infection, and it needs to be treated right away. It can be life-threatening, especially in babies and older people. If you see involvement around the face or eyes in anyone, or if symptoms are increasing quickly, it is appropriate to phone for an ambulance.

Treatment & Prognosis

Cellulitis is extremely serious, and it can be very difficult to treat.

It takes hospital tests to know how far the infection has spread. Patients who are treated in time generally go home to recover on antibiotics, though recovery can be slow. More acute cases require intensive hospital treatment, often for a long time.

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