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Infectious cellulitis, also known as bacterial cellulitis, happens when bacteria manage to enter the skin, infecting the deeper layers and causing symptoms such as intense skin redness, pain and swelling, occurring mainly in the lower limbs.
Unlike the popular cellulitis, which is actually called fibro edema geloid, infectious cellulitis can cause serious complications such as septicemia, which is a general infection of the body, or even death if not properly treated.
Therefore, whenever there is a suspicion of a skin infection, it is very important to go to the emergency room to make the diagnosis and start the appropriate treatment, which is usually done with the use of antibiotics. See how the treatment is done.
Some of the symptoms that help identify a case of cellulitis include:
- Pain at the affected site;
- Large red regions throughout the body;
- Large, red region on affected body part;
- Fever above 38ºC;
- Swelling of the skin, which may produce pus;
- Languages near the affected site.
In more severe cases, symptoms may also include tremors, chills, fatigue, dizziness, excessive sweating and muscle pain. Symptoms such as drowsiness, the appearance of blisters or red rays on the skin can be signs that cellulitis is getting worse.
All these symptoms can also be a sign of other types of skin infection, especially erysipelas, which is a disease that affects the most superficial layers of the skin. Therefore, you should consult a general practitioner or dermatologist to find out the correct cause, in order to start the most appropriate treatment.
How to confirm the diagnosis
In most cases, cellulitis is identified by the dermatologist only by observing the signs and symptoms, however, as the symptoms can be very similar to other types of skin infection, especially erysipelas, the doctor also may order a blood test or even a test to evaluate, in the laboratory, a sample of the affected skin, to confirm the type of bacteria that is causing the infection.
How to differentiate cellulite from erysipelas
The main difference between cellulitis and erysipelas is that, while cellulitis affects deeper layers of the skin, in the case of erysipelas, the infection happens more on the surface. Still, some differences that can help identify the two situations are:
|Superficial infection||Infection of the deep dermis and subcutaneous tissue|
|It is easy to identify infected tissue from uninfected, due to large patches||It is difficult to identify infected tissue from uninfected, with small spots|
|More frequent on lower limbs and face||More frequent in lower limbs|
However, the signs and symptoms of these diseases are very similar, and that is why the general practitioner or dermatologist should examine the affected area and may order several tests to identify the correct cause, identify signs of severity and start treatment. more efficient. Understand better what it is and how to treat erysipelas.
What can cause cellulite
Infectious cellulitis occurs when Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria are able to penetrate the skin. Therefore, this type of infection is more common in people with surgical wounds or cuts and bites that have not been properly treated.
In addition, people with skin conditions that can cause the skin to break, such as eczema, dermatitis or ringworm, are also at increased risk of developing a case of cellulitis, as are people with weakened immune systems, for example.
Is cellulitis contagious?
In he althy people, cellulitis is not contagious, as it does not spread easily from one person to another. However, if someone has a wound or skin disease, such as dermatitis, and comes into direct contact with the cellulitis site, there is a higher risk of the bacteria penetrating the skin and causing cellulitis.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for cellulitis is usually started with oral antibiotics, such as Clindamycin or Cephalexin, for 10 to 21 days. During this period, it is advisable to take all the tablets at the time indicated by the doctor, as well as to observe the evolution of the redness in the skin. If the redness increases, or another symptom worsens, it is very important to go back to the doctor, as the prescribed antibiotic may not be having the expected effect, and will need to be changed.
In addition, the doctor may also prescribe painkillers, such as Paracetamol or Dipyrone, to relieve symptoms during treatment. It is also important to examine the skin regularly, bandage the wound at the he alth center, or even apply a suitable cream containing antibiotics, which may be recommended by the doctor to ensure the success of the treatment.
Normally, symptoms improve within 10 days of starting antibiotics, but if symptoms get worse it may be necessary to change antibiotics or even stay in the hospital, to do the treatment directly in the vein and prevent infection spread throughout the body.
Understand better how the treatment is done and what are the signs of improvement.