Possible signs and symptoms of cellulitis include:
The changes in your skin may be accompanied by a fever. Over time, the area of redness tends to expand. Small red spots may appear on top of the reddened skin, and less commonly, small blisters may form and burst.
When to see a doctor
It's important to identify and treat cellulitis early because the condition can cause a serious infection by spreading rapidly throughout your body.
Seek emergency care if:
- You have a red, swollen, tender rash or a rash that's changing rapidly
- You have a fever
See your doctor, preferably that day, if:
Feb. 23, 2012
- You have a rash that's red, swollen, tender and warm — and it's expanding — but without fever
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- Baddour LM. Cellulitis and erysipelas. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 10, 2011.
- Stevens DL. Infections of the skin, muscles, and soft tissues. In: Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Nov. 10, 2011.
- Gunderson CG. Cellulitis: Definition, etiology and clinical features. The American Journal of Medicine. In press. Accessed Nov. 10, 2011.
- Kilburn SA, et al. Interventions for cellulites and erysipelas (review). The Cochrane Collaboration. 2010;6.
- Bailey E, et al. Cellulitis: Diagnosis and management. Dermatologic Therapy. 2011;24:229.
- Eron LJ. In the clinic: Cellulitis and soft tissue infections. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2009;150:1.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 16, 2011.