Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Several factors can place you at greater risk of developing cellulitis:
Feb. 11, 2015
- 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.
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- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Cellulitis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
- Skin care. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/skin-care.html. Accessed Dec. 8, 2014.