What is Cellulitis?

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 23, 2013)

Have you ever noticed how there are a few different phrases and words in the medical world that seem to have the inherent ability to make you feel rather uncomfortable? One example of this is the word cellulitis. What is cellulitis, how do you get it, how to treat it, and how to avoid it are all rather common questions you may be asking yourself when you first hear about this.

  • What is it? In the simplest possible terms, cellulitis is a type of infection of the skin that is caused by bacteria. While it may not seem like a very serious issue, this type of infection can definitely lead to some serious complications if proper treatment isn't received. Some examples of symptoms include a warm swollen area on the skin that is tender to the touch. Over time you can also experience fever, chills, and swollen glands as the infection spreads.
  • How do you get it? Typically cellulitis is caused by one or two types of bacteria getting into your system. These two types of bacteria are strep or staph, and will usually enter into your system through some type of injury or opening in the skin. There are a few other types of bacteria that can also cause this illness, but those are rare and usually only experienced by a select few people. The people that are typically most at risk to these types of bacteria are those who have a weakened immune system such as people who have diabetes, or work around food a lot.
  • Treatment options. For the most part, the only way to treat cellulitis is through the application of antibiotics. As long as you are only dealing with a mild case, you can usually take the antibiotics at home. However, for stronger cases, you may need to have the antibiotics injected directly into your system to get the maximum effect. Whatever treatment option you end up receiving, you need to make sure that you complete the entire treatment to really combat the infection.
  • How to avoid it. The best, and easiest way to avoid cellulitis is to completely clean (as soon as possible) any injury that you receive to your skin. For example, if you have eczema, and are susceptible heavy scratching, be sure that you was the area completely with soap and warm water.

Keep in mind that this information is only intended for informational purposes. If you believe that you have cellulitis, then you need to visit your doctor for proper treatment. While there are plenty of home treatments that you could use, only a doctor is trained to issue you the proper care for dealing with most types of injuries or illnesses.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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