Cellulitis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

The symptoms of cellulitis result from inflammation of the skin and underlying tissues. The skin itself may appear reddened and warm to the touch, and there may be swelling, pain, and tenderness of the affected area. Red streaks on the skin can sometimes be seen when the infection is spreading. As the infection spreads, the affected person may develop fever and chills, with accompanying tiredness or malaise. Swollen lymph nodes can sometimes occur in areas near the infection.

Causes of cellulitis

Cellulitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Many types of bacteria can cause cellulitis, but Staphylococcus and Streptococcus are the types of bacteria that most commonly cause the condition. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a particularly serious type of staph infection that is resistant to many common antibiotics and is sometimes a cause of cellulitis.

Related Symptoms & Signs

Other cellulitis symptoms and signs

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.