Cellulitis

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Cellulitis Symptoms

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 -- redness, swelling, warmth, and pain. A person with cellulitis can also develop fever and/or swollen lymph nodes in the area of the infection.

Quick GuideBacterial Infections 101: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments

Bacterial Infections 101: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments

Cellulitis facts

  • Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin.
  • Staphylococcus and Streptococcus are the types of bacteria that are usually responsible for cellulitis, although many types of bacteria can cause the condition.
  • Sometimes cellulitis appears in areas where the skin has broken open, such as the skin near ulcers or surgical wounds.
  • Symptoms and signs of cellulitis include
    • redness,
    • tenderness,
    • swelling, and
    • warmth of the affected area.
  • Cellulitis can occur anywhere in the body. Cellulitis frequently affects the legs.
  • Cellulitis is not contagious.
  • Complications of cellulitis include spread of the infection into the bloodstream or to other body tissues.
  • Cellulitis is treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 4/26/2016
References
REFERENCE:

Herchline, Thomas E. "Cellulitis." Medscape.com. Aug. 19, 2015. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/214222-overview>.

IMAGES:

1.CDC - Janice Carr

2.iStock, Medscape

3.Bigstock

4.BigStock

5.MedicineNet

6.iStock

7.MedicineNet

8.iStock

9.BigStock

10.Rafael Lopez

11.iStock

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