Cellulitis is a spreading infection of the skin which may include deeper tissues under the skin. Cellulitis may be an early warning of a serious condition and should not be ignored.
Symptoms are usually a red swollen area that is spreading. The area may also be warm to touch. There are no clear boundries usually and there may be a streaking appearance. There may also be an associated fever, chills, and nausea when cellulitis is present.
Causes are numerous and may be from a simple bug bite. More often there is a break in the skin from trauma or surgery. Puncture wounds, lacerations, or insect bites are examples. Following injury bacteria may invade the skin or its deeper structures. Group A streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus are two of the more frequent bacterial organisms seen with cellulitis.
Prevention is usually unavoidable as this is an early sign of the body defense system and trauma is usually unavoidable. If early treatment is taken, you can prevent worse conditions.
Diagnosis of a cellulitis is by direct inspection by your physician. Further testing with blood or wound cultures or x-ray may be ordered to detect more serious pathology.
Podiatric Care involves examination and monitoring of the condition, with local wound care if needed.