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Get Wonderful Information on Cellulitis

Cellulitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue underlying the skin, that can be caused by a bacterial infection. Cellulitis can be caused by normal skin flora or by exogenous bacteria, and oft...

Cellulitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue underlying the skin, that can be caused by a bacterial infection. Cellulitis can be caused by normal skin flora or by exogenous bacteria, and often occurs where the skin has previously been broken: cracks in the skin, cuts, blisters, burns, insect bites, surgical wounds, or sites of intravenous catheter insertion. It may happen in normal skin, but it usually occurs after some type of trauma causes an opening in your skin. Bacteria usually enter through small breaks in the epidermis that result from scrapes, punctures, burns, and skin disorders such as dermatitis (see Itching and Noninfectious Rashes: Dermatitis ) Areas of the skin that become swollen with fluid (edema) are especially vulnerable. The main bacteria involved in cellulitis is Staphylococcus ("staph"), the same bacteria that causes many cases of impetigo. Occasionally, other bacteria may cause cellulitis as well. Left untreated, the spreading bacterial infection may rapidly turn into a life-threatening condition. That's why it's important to recognize the signs and symptoms of cellulitis and to seek immediate medical attention if they occur.Causes of CellulitisThe skin normally has many types of bacteria living on it, but intact skin is an effective barrier that keeps these bacteria from entering and growing within the body. When there is a break in the skin, however, bacteria can enter the body and grow there, causing infection and inflammation. The skin tissues in the infected area become red, hot, irritated and painful.Cellulitis is most common on the lower legs and the arms or hands, although other areas of the body may sometimes be involved.Symptoms of CellulitisCellulitis typically begins as a small, inflamed area of pain, swelling, warmth, and redness on a child's skin. As this red area begins to spread, the child may begin to feel sick and develop a fever, sometimes with chills and sweats. Swollen lymph nodes (commonly called swollen glands) are sometimes found near the area of infected skin. Cellulitis is not contagious.Treatment of CellulitisOral or intravenous (IV) antibioticsWarm, wet dressings on the infection siteSurgical interventionIf you have an extremity (arm or leg) that is affected, your physician may have you elevate the extremity and decrease the amount of activityMost patients can be treated with oral antibiotics at home, usually for 5 to 10 days. However if there are signs of systemic illness or extensive cellulitis, treatment may require intravenous antibiotics. Treatment for uncomplicated cellulitis is usually for 10 to 14 days but antibiotics should be continued until all signs of infection have cleared (redness, pain and swelling) - sometimes for several months.PreventionYou can prevent cellulitis by protecting your child's skin from cuts, bruises, and scrapes. This may not be easy, especially if you have an active child who loves to explore or play sports. If your child does get a scrapeFree Articles, wash the wound well with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with an adhesive bandage or gauze.

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