Cellulitis is a common skin infection that results from a cut or break in the skin that allows bacteria to enter. It may first appear as a red, swollen and painful area. Usually, it most commonly affects the skin of the legs, but it can occur anywhere including the arms, face and elsewhere on the body.
The symptoms of cellulitis may include:
- pain and tenderness in the affected area
- redness or inflammation of your skin
- a skin sore or rash that appears and grows quickly
- a tight, glossy, swollen appearance of the skin
- a feeling of warmth in the affected area
- a central area that has an abscess with pus formation
- a fever
Although Cellulitis usually affects the surface of your skin, it may also affect the underlying tissues. Cellulitis can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream and become life-threatening if not treated. It can spread very rapidly. NOTE: cellulitis is not usually spread from person to person.
- a feeling of illness
- muscle aches
- warm skin
You should see your doctor immediately if you have a rash that is red, swollen, painful and warm but without a fever. You should seek EMERGENCY CARE If you have a red, swollen, painful rash and you have a fever.
To help prevent Cellulitis and other infections simply follow basic wound care: clean the wound gently with clean, warm water and soap (don’t use hydrogen peroxide or iodine as these can damage the skin tissue), apply a protective ointment or cream, cover the wound with a bandage to keep it clean (change the bandage as needed), and check it regularly for signs of infection until it is completely healed. A minor cut or scratch may not seem serious, but if untreated it can lead to a life-threatening infection.