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.

Quick GuideBacterial Infections 101: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments

Bacterial Infections 101: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments

What is cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin. Unlike impetigo, which is a very superficial skin infection, cellulitis is an infection that also involves the skin's deeper layers: the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.

The main bacteria responsible for cellulitis are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus ("staph"), the same bacteria that can cause impetigo. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph aureus) can also cause cellulitis. Sometimes, other bacteria (for example, Hemophilus influenzae, Pneumococcus, and Clostridium species) may cause cellulitis as well.

Cellulitis is fairly common and affects people of all races and ages. Men and women appear to be equally affected. Although cellulitis can occur in people of any age, it is most common in middle-aged and elderly people. Cellulitis is not contagious. 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. Bigstock

2. MedicineNet

3. MedicineNet

4. iStock

5. Rafael Lopez

6. iStock, Medscape

7. CDC - Janice Carr

8. BigStock

9. iStock

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Cellulitis - Symptoms

    The symptoms of cellulitis can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your initial symptoms?

    Post View 89 Comments
  • Cellulitis - Treatments

    What was your treatment for cellulitis?

    Post View 68 Comments
  • Cellulitis - Causes

    What was the cause of your cellulitis?

    Post View 55 Comments
  • Cellulitis - Infection

    Please describe your experience with a cellulitis infection.

    Post View 42 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors