Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and the tissues under the skin. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus are the most common types of bacteria that cause cellulitis, but a wide variety of bacteria can cause the condition. Sometimes cellulite appears on open areas of the skin, such as sores or skin near surgical wounds.
There are symptoms and signs of cellulite.
- Pain and tenderness
- Enlarged lymph nodes and
- The heat of the affected area
- Cellulite can occur anywhere on the body. Cellulite often affects the legs.
Cellulitis is not an infection. Complications of acute cellulitis include the spread of infection from the affected area to the bloodstream or other body tissues. Cellulitis can be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics.
What is cellulite?
Cellulitis is a common and sometimes painful bacterial skin infection. It first appears as a red, swollen area that feels tender and smooth. The redness and swelling spread quickly. It most often affects the skin on the lower legs, although the infection can occur anywhere on a person’s body or face. Cellulite usually appears on the surface of the skin, but it also affects the underlying tissues. The infection spreads to the lymph nodes and the bloodstream. Cellulitis is a painful bacterial infection of the deeper layers of the skin.
It begins abruptly and can be fatal without prompt treatment. In mild cases, there is a localized infection, with a reddened area. The most serious cases involve a rapidly spreading infection that leads to sepsis. The prevalence depends to some extent on how strong the person’s immune system. If you don’t treat cellulite, it can be fatal. Seek medical help immediately if you have symptoms.
Causes of cellulitis
Cellulitis occurs when bacteria, usually streptococci, and staph, enter the skin through cracks or fissures. The incidence of a more serious Staphylococcus infection known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasing.
Although cellulite can occur anywhere on your body, the most common location is the lower leg. You may have had recent surgeries, cuts, puncture wounds, ulcers, athlete’s foot, or dermatitis where bacteria can enter the affected areas of the skin. Animal bites can cause cellulite. Bacteria can also enter through dry, flaky, or inflamed skin.
The infection begins in skin lesions:
- Insect bite
- Surgical injuries
Types of cellulitis
There are different types of cellulitis depending on where the infection occurs. Some types:
- Periorbital cellulitis, which develops around the eyes.
- Facial cellulite, which develops around the eyes, nose, and cheeks.
- Breast cellulite
- Perianal cellulitis, which develops around the anal orbit.
- Cellulite can occur anywhere on the body, including the hands and feet. Adults develop cellulite on the leg, while children develop it on the face or neck.
Symptoms of cellulitis
Cellulite can appear anywhere on the body. It is usually found on damaged skin, inflamed wounds, dirty cuts, and areas with low circulation. It must be treated by a doctor.
- Red stripes
- Pain or tenderness
- Leakage of pus or clear yellow fluid
Go to the emergency room if you have any of these symptoms:
- High fever or chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Expansion or hardening of the inflamed area.
- Increased pain
- Numbness when touching the area
Other medical problems can also be affected by a minor infection.
Factors that increase the risk of cellulite:
- Age: It is possible to have cellulite in middle age or later.
- Obesity: cellulite is more common in people who are overweight or obese.
- Leg problems: Increases the risk of developing inflammation (edema) and ulcerative colitis.
- Previous cellulitis: Anyone with the previous cellulitis has an 8-20% chance of recurrence, research suggests, and the infection can recur several times a year.
- Exposure to environmental factors: These include contaminated water and certain animals, including fish and reptiles.
- Other skin problems: Chickenpox, eczema, athlete’s foot, bumps, and other skin conditions increase the risk of bacteria entering the body.
- Lymphedema: This leads to inflammation of the skin, which can lead to cracks and bacteria.
- Other conditions: People with liver or kidney disease are at increased risk for cellulite.
- Diabetes: If a person cannot control their diabetes effectively, problems with their immune system, circulation, or both can lead to skin ulcers.
- Weakened immune system: This can happen if people are older, have HIV or AIDS, or are receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
- Circulatory problems: People with poor blood circulation are at risk of spreading the infection to the deeper layers of the skin.
- Recent surgery or injury: This increases the risk of infection.
- Intravenous drug use: Injecting drugs, especially with used needles, can cause lumps and infections under the skin, increasing the risk of cellulitis.
A doctor examines a person and evaluates their symptoms. They may also take a swab or biopsy to find out what type of bacteria is present. Laboratory tests can help rule out other causes, as other causes resemble cellulite. Identifying the cause and type of bacteria allows the doctor to prescribe the most appropriate treatment. However, this can be challenging because having different types of bacteria on your skin can lead to inaccurate results. Your doctor will do a medical history and physical exam. Other policies may include:
- A blood test if they think the infection has spread to your blood.
- X-ray if there is a foreign object on your skin or if the bone underneath is infected
- A culture. The doctor uses a needle to remove fluid from the area and send it to the lab.
Early treatment with antibiotics is usually successful. Most people receive treatment at home, but some need to receive it in the hospital.
Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following treatments:
A mild case of cellulitis usually responds to oral antibiotic treatment in 7-14 days. Symptoms initially get worse, but usually begin to improve within 2 days.
Different types of antibiotics can treat cellulite. After considering the type of bacteria behind the infection and individual factors, your doctor will determine the best option. Most people recover within 2 weeks, but it may take longer if symptoms are severe. A doctor may prescribe a low-dose oral antibiotic for long-term use to prevent a recurrence.
Some people with severe cellulite need hospital treatment, especially:
- They have a high fever.
- They are vomiting
- They are experiencing a recurrence of cellulite.
- The current treatment is not working.
- The symptoms are getting more serious.
- In the hospital, most people with this type of infection are treated with antibiotics through an IV, with a drop of medicine in hand.
Home remedies for cellulite
Cellulite can be treated with antibiotics that you can get from your doctor. Without treatment, it can spread and cause a fatal infection. But there are things you can do at home to relieve pain and other symptoms. Clean your skin where you have cellulite. Ask your doctor how to properly clean your wound. If your leg is affected, raise it to the level of your heart. Helps reduce inflammation and pain.
In rare cases, serious problems can arise. Among them are:
- Permanent inflammation: Without treatment, a person can develop permanent inflammation in the affected area.
- Blood infection and sepsis: This life-threatening condition is caused by bacteria that enter the bloodstream and require prompt treatment.
- Symptoms of sepsis include fever, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, low blood pressure, dizziness when standing, decreased urine flow and sweating, pale and cold skin.
- Infection in other areas: In very rare cases, the bacteria that cause cellulitis can infect other parts of the body, including the muscles, bones, or heart valves. If this happens, the person needs immediate treatment.
In most cases, effective treatment can prevent problems.
If your cellulitis returns, your doctor may recommend preventive antibiotics. To help prevent cellulitis and other infections, take these precautions when you have a skin injury:
- Wash the wound every day with soap and water. Do it gently as part of your regular bath.
- Apply a protective cream or ointment. For most superficial wounds, over-the-counter ointments (petroleum jelly, polysporin, etc.) provide adequate protection.
- Cover your wound with a bandage. Change the straps at least every day.
- Look for signs of infection. Redness, pain, and discharge are signs of infection and require medical evaluation.
People with diabetes and people with poor blood circulation should take extra precautions to avoid skin injury. Good skincare practices include the following:
- Check your feet daily. Check your feet regularly for signs of injury so you can get infections early on.
- Moisturize your skin regularly. Lubricating your skin can help prevent cracking and peeling. Do not apply moisturizer to open sores.
- Cut your fingernails and toenails carefully. Take care not to damage the surrounding skin.
- Protect your arms and legs. Wear suitable footwear and gloves.
Treat skin (surface) infections, such as athlete’s foot, right away. Superficial skin diseases are easily transmitted from person to person. Don’t wait for treatment to start.
Most people make a full recovery from cellulite after 7 to 10 days with antibiotics. The infection is likely to return in the future. If you are at high risk, your doctor may increase the dose of your antibiotics. This will help prevent cellulite from getting back.
You can prevent this infection by keeping your skin clean if an incision or other open wound is made. If you don’t know how to properly care for your skin after an injury, see your doctor.
Erysipelas versus cellulite
Erysipelas is another skin infection caused by bacteria, most often group A streptococci. Like cellulitis, it begins with an open wound, burns, or surgical cut. Most of the time, the infection remains in the legs. Less frequently, it appears on the face, arms, or trunk.
The difference between cellulite and erysipelas is that the cellulite rash has a raised border that stands out from the surrounding skin. It may feel hot to the touch.
Other symptoms of erysipelas:
- Feeling sick
- Doctors treat erysipelas with antibiotics, usually penicillin or a similar drug.
Cellulite and diabetes
High blood sugar from uncontrolled diabetes can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections such as cellulitis. Poor blood flow in the legs also increases the risk. People with diabetes are more likely to get sores on their legs and feet. The bacteria that cause cellulitis enter through these sores and cause an infection.
If you have diabetes, keep your feet clean. Use a moisturizer to prevent cracking. And check your feet daily for signs of infection.
Cellulite vs. pus
An inflammatory pocket of pus under the skin of a tumour. It occurs when bacteria, often staph, enter the body through a cut or other open wound. Your immune system sends out white blood cells to fight bacteria. The attack forms a hole under the skin, which fills with pus. The pus is made up of dead tissue, bacteria, and white blood cells. Unlike cellulite, a lump looks like a lump under the skin. You may also have symptoms such as fever and chills. Some tumours shrink on their own without treatment. Others need antibiotic treatment.
Cellulite versus dermatitis
Dermatitis is a common term for skin rashes. It is caused by an infection or allergic reaction, usually not bacteria. Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction to an irritant. Atopic dermatitis is another word for eczema.
Symptoms of dermatitis:
- Blisters or crusty blisters
Doctors treat dermatitis with cortisone and antihistamine creams to relieve inflammation and itching. You should also avoid the substance that caused the reaction.
Cellulite vs. DVT
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in one of the deep veins, usually in the legs. You can get DVT after sitting on the couch or lying down for a long time after a long flight or surgery.
- Leg Ache
It is important to seek medical help if you have DVT. If the clot breaks down and travels to the lungs, it can cause a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism (PE). Doctors treat DVT like a blood thinner. These medicines keep the clot from getting bigger and keep you from getting new clots.