The skin is one of the most important aspects to a person’s life, both in terms of health and in terms of their mental and social well being.
The health aspect of skin is obvious. Skin protects all of the crucial parts of our body hidden within. Skin protects us from the outside world. It absorbs and it expels. From a social standpoint, people with clear and clean skin have been shown to have much higher confidence levels than those without. Having good skin is simply a benefit!
There’s a caveat though. Skin is always at risk. There are many conditions which can affect skin and damage it. One of these is cellulitis. Like many other skin conditions, cellulitis attacks a person’s skin and cause them a large amount of pain. What’s scarier is that cellulitis can spread to other parts of the body with serious life threatening complications.
What is a Cellulitis Infection?
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection. It attacks the skin and makes it very swollen and red. The area that’s affected will usually feel warm to the touch and be very painful when touched. The pain level is often much higher than in other skin issues or rashes. Cellulitis is most commonly found in a person’s lefts (especially the lower parts of the legs and feet). It can however also sometimes occur in a person’s arms or face. A person develops cellulitis when a crack in their skin opens and the bacteria is able to enter into the body itself.
As mentioned, one of the dangers is cellulitis spreading. The bacteria involved can also cause life threatening conditions elsewhere in the body. It is especially dangerous in the bloodstream, or in the lymph nodes.
Symptoms of Cellulitis
There are many symptoms that can occur for a person when the bacteria causing cellulitis enters the body. Some of these are:
- Red Skin - this area will typically continue to expand as the infection grows.
- Swelling - In addition to the skin turning red, it will commonly swell up.
- Pain/Tenderness - The affected areas will feel painful to the touch, but can also have a throbbing general pain as well.
- Fever - This is one of the only symptoms that is not directly visible on the skin. Most people with cellulitis will develop a steady high fever.
- Blisters - Blisters may form in the affected areas, causing one painful issue to double down into two painful issues.
- Skin Dimples - In addition to the skin turning red, it will often dimple up.
Typically, cellulitis will only occur on one side of the body. This means that if the symptoms are showing on both sides, then there’s the potential of another issue being present.
Treatment of Cellulitis
Treatment of cellulitis depends on a quick diagnosis and response from the person affected. Spotting it quickly and seeing a doctor early makes a big difference. As long as it’s spotted early, it’s likely to be handled easily using medication.
The standard medication will be an oral prescription. Most people see some results within 3 days of taking it. If the infection is not clearing up, then a doctor may need to alter treatment. The normal time range for medication is between 5 and 14 days.
As mentioned, if medication is not working, the it’s possible hospitalization will be necessary. If the symptoms are extensive and growing, then it’s likely that antibiotics will need to be taking through an IV rather than orally. This ensures full distribution and gives them the best opportunity to act on the bacteria.