Each year, around 14 million cases of cellulitis are diagnosed in the United States, making it a fairly common skin infection. The people who are most likely to develop cellulitis are middle-aged or older, with men and women equally at risk.
The expert providers at kalon Dermatology in Brooklyn, New York, are experienced in recognizing, diagnosing, and providing effective treatment for numerous types of skin infections, including cellulitis. It’s important to seek treatment if you notice a swollen, tender, warm area on your skin, because cellulitis can pose risks to your health if it is not treated.
Cellulitis is associated with many different bacteria, and usually people who get it don’t know how they got it. The bacteria cause an infection in the deep layers of your skin. It’s not contagious, but can be contracted through a break in your skin, like a cut or wound, or a surgical incision.
Often, cellulitis develops on the feet or legs, although it can appear anywhere on the body.
What cellulitis looks lik
Cellulitis appears as a patch of swollen, red skin. It’s painful and feels warm when you touch it. Your skin may look like an orange peel, with pits and bumps.
Some people have blisters in the area. You may also have a fever or chills when you have cellulitis.
Anyone can get cellulitis, but some people have a greater likelihood of contracting the infection. If you’ve had an injury to your skin, even an intentional one like a piercing or tattoo, you have a greater risk of getting cellulitis. Ulcers, cuts, bites, puncture wounds, and surgical incisions also increase your risk.
Contracting chicken pox or shingles can raise your chance of developing cellulitis. Having a condition like athlete’s foot, eczema, or other chronic skin problem can make it more likely you’ll get cellulitis, as well.
Being overweight can make it more likely you’ll develop cellulitis, and if you have chronic edema, or swelling, you’re at a higher risk. Edema is often due to having a condition of the lymphatic system, or having had coronary artery bypass surgery.
To get better, you need antibiotics. Cellulitis won’t go away on its own. Most of the time, we prescribe oral antibiotics, but in more serious infections, it’s necessary for you to have intravenous (IV) antibiotics.
Complications from cellulitis are rare, but if you don’t get treatment, more serious infection could result. For example, you could get an infection in your blood called bacteremia, or an infection in your joints called suppurative arthritis. It’s also possible for your bones or the lining of the chambers of your heart to become infected.
Untreated cellulitis can also lead to thrombophlebitis, or swelling in a blood vessel due to a blood clot.
Treating cellulitis is relatively straightforward, and far safer than allowing the infection to spread to other parts of your body. If you have an area of skin that is tender, swollen, and looks odd, schedule an appointment at kalon Dermatology today. Call us or use or online scheduler.