Cellulitis - Infection

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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.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Joanne - Jarvis, 55-64 (Patient) Published: September 15

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider on my right ankle. I underwent vascular surgery and 6 months of VNA (visiting nurse association) nurses in my home, dressing the wound and administering treatment. One year went by and it is hardly bearable to put on foot wear. Within 3 months the wound opened up again and I had hospital wound care and started bandaging myself. Now, 3 years have passed and my foot is so swollen and painful and I know not what to do. Antibiotics did not work. I feel I need a drainage for cellulitis, yet the doctor only says that the necrotic wound is healing. He stated I only need regular bandages and off I go. I am up all night with shooting pain up my leg and it is so difficult to even rest my ankle on the bed to sleep. I am so weary of this painful and frightening experience. Even my friend's parents will not allow me in their pool and I am not contagious.

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Comment from: worried girl, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 16

My experience with cellulitis is that the onset is quite unexpected. My body will start to ache like with flu like symptoms; then I would start to get the cold chills; and then a very high temperature like 101 to 104 or more. My leg will then start to swell and get very hot; and then red blotches would form through my leg. The pain is almost unbearable.

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