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

  • Injury. Any cut, fracture, burn or scrape gives bacteria an entry point.
  • Weakened immune system. Conditions that weaken your immune system — such as diabetes, leukemia and HIV/AIDS — leave you more susceptible to infections. Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, also can weaken your immune system.
  • Skin conditions. Skin disorders — such as eczema, athlete's foot, chickenpox and shingles — can cause breaks in the skin and give bacteria an entry point.
  • 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 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 of developing cellulitis and having recurring episodes.
Feb. 11, 2015

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

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