Cellulitis isn't usually spread from person to person. Cellulitis is an infection of the deeper layers of the skin most commonly caused by bacteria that normally live on the skin's surface. You have an increased risk of developing cellulitis if you:
- Have an injury, such as a cut, fracture, burn or scrape
- Have a skin condition, such as eczema, athlete's foot or shingles
- Participate in contact sports, such as wrestling
- Have diabetes or a weakened immune system
- Have a chronic swelling of your arms or legs (lymphedema)
- Use intravenous drugs
Signs and symptoms of cellulitis include:
- Redness, swelling and tenderness
- Warmth of the affected skin
- Fever and chills
- Swollen glands or lymph nodes
Left untreated, cellulitis can rapidly turn into a life-threatening condition. Treatment usually includes antibiotics. In severe cases, you may need to be hospitalized and receive antibiotics through your veins (intravenously).
March 25, 2015
- Marx JA, et al. Skin and soft tissue infections. In: Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 15, 2015.
- Baddour LM. Cellulitis and erysipelas. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 14, 2015.
- Ferri FF. Cellulitis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 15, 2015.