The bacteria that cause cellulitis can spread rapidly, entering lymph nodes and your bloodstream. Recurrent episodes of cellulitis may damage the lymphatic drainage system and cause chronic swelling of the affected limb.

In rare cases, the infection can spread to the deep layer of tissue called the fascial lining. Flesh-eating strep (necrotizing fasciitis) is an example of a deep-layer infection. It represents an extreme emergency.

Feb. 11, 2015

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