How to Tell If You Have Cellulitis


Cellulitis, a staph or skin infection caused by bacteria, can become deadly if not diagnosed and treated properly. If you have an insect bite, cut, or sore, you’re more at risk for cellulitis because the bacteria has the opportunity to seep deeper into your skin. Nevertheless, you can acquire the infection without any injury to your skin. Cellulitis is treated by antibiotics; however, if left untreated, it can spread to your lymph nodes and blood, especially if you have a compromised immune system or diabetes. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the signs of cellulitis.

Know the symptoms. Skin irritation on the body can appear as red bumps that are swollen or painful. Your infected skin can feel warm to the touch or have red streaks around the area. In serious cellulitis cases, you can experience additional symptoms, such as swollen glands, fever, or chills.

Examine your skin. Cellulitis typically occurs on your legs and face. However, it can be on any part of your skin. If your child has the infection, it can appear on the face or around the anus. Cellulitis can also infect your eye.

Protect your skin. Cellulitis can occur via injury to the skin or as a result of skin problems such as fungal infections, ulcers, eczema, or psoriasis. Edema, also known as fluid buildup, can cause cellulitis on your arms and legs as well. If you injected illegal drugs under your skin, according to Yahoo Health, you’re also at risk. In addition, if you have undergone surgery to remove excess fat you increase your chance to acquire the skin infection.

The bottom line is take good care of your skin. Keep any skin injuries, such as cuts or wounds, covered until they are completely healed. If you have edema, examine your legs and feet regularly--especially if you have a weakened immune system. Make sure you treat any other skin infections so bacteria won’t enter your cracked skin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Seek medical attention if you find cellulitis on your legs, face or anywhere on the body. The infection can spread extremely fast to other areas of your body.

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