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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is cellulitis?
Cellulitis is an infection of the skin most commonly caused by Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. It can occur in anyone, on any area of the body, but it is most common on the lower legs. Skin affected by cellulitis quickly becomes red, swollen, hot and …
What are the symptoms of cellulitis?
Skin affected by cellulitis quickly becomes red, swollen, hot and tender. Small red spots or weeping blisters may appear on top of the red skin. These symptoms can also occur together with fever, chills and a general feeling of being unwell. If the …
Who gets cellulitis?
Although cellulitis can occur in anyone, it is more common in people who are overweight or have a condition that causes poor circulation, swelling or a weakened immune system. Eczema and athlete's foot also increase the risk, since dry or cracked skin provides more …
How does cellulitis occur?
Cellulitis occurs when bacteria enter the dermis through a break in the skin, such as a cut, sore, scratch or burn. The two most common types of bacteria that cause cellulitis are Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. In rare cases, cellulitis can …
How is cellulitis diagnosed?
Cellulitis is diagnosed by a doctor looking closely at the skin and asking questions about symptoms. A line may also be drawn around the affected area of skin with a pen to track the spread of infection. In cases that involves serious illness or a weakened …
What can be done at home to relieve symptoms of cellulitis?
To relieve pain and fever caused by cellulitis, over-the-counter pain-relief medications may be an option. Plenty of water and rest can also help the immune system to naturally fight infection. Keeping an affected arm or leg …
Can cellulitis be serious or life-threatening?
Although most cases of cellulitis are successfully treated with antibiotics, complications can arise when the condition is left untreated or keeps coming back. For example, untreated cellulitis can cause pus-filled wounds, gangrene, or …
What is the outlook for cellulitis?
The outlook for cellulitis is good in most cases if it is diagnosed and treated early with antibiotics. While most mild to moderate cases of cellulitis clear within about a week of starting treatment, antibiotic treatment may need to be continued for …
About this article
Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 19 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Votes: 524 (Click smiley face below left to rate)