Several factors can place you at greater risk of developing cellulitis:

  • Known injury. Any cut, fracture, burn or even a scrape increases your risk of cellulitis because the injury gives bacteria an entry point.
  • Weakened immune system. Conditions that weaken your immune system leave you more susceptible to infections, such as cellulitis. Conditions that can weaken your immune system include diabetes, chronic leukemias, HIV/AIDS, chronic kidney disease, liver disease and circulation disorders. The use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids, also can weaken your immune system.
  • Skin conditions. Certain skin disorders, such as eczema, athlete's foot, chickenpox and shingles, cause breaks in the skin and increase your risk of cellulitis.
  • Chronic swelling of your arms or legs (lymphedema). Swollen tissue may crack, leaving your skin vulnerable to bacterial infection.
  • History of cellulitis. People who previously have had cellulitis, especially of the lower leg, may be more prone to develop it again.
  • Intravenous drug use. People who inject illegal drugs have a higher risk of developing cellulitis.
  • Obesity. Being overweight or obese increases your risk not only of developing cellulitis but also of having recurring episodes.
Feb. 23, 2012

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.