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Definition of «Cellulitis»

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Cellulitis: An acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness (erythema), warmth, swelling, and pain. Cellulitis can also cause fever, chills, and "swollen glands" (enlarged lymph nodes). Cellulitis is a clinical diagnosis based on the spreading involvement of skin and subcutaneous tissues with erythema, swelling, and local tenderness, accompanied by fever and malaise.

Cellulitis commonly appears in areas where there is a break in the skin from an abrasion, a cut, or a skin ulcer. It can also be due to local trauma, such as an animal bite. Only rarely is cellulitis due to the bacteremic spread of infection -- bacteria arriving from a distant source via the bloodstream.

What does cellulitis look like?

Risk factors for cellulitis include diabetes and impairment of the immune system (from, for example, HIV/AIDS or immunosuppressant drugs). Cellulitis is not contagious because it is an infection of the skin's deeper layers, the dermis and subcutaneous tissue, and the skin's top layer (the epidermis) provides a cover over the infection.

The main bacterium that causes cellulitis is Staph (Staphylococcus aureus) and Strep (Group A Streptococcus) is next most common. Cellulitis can be caused by many other types of bacteria. In children under six, H. flu (Hemophilus influenzae) can cause cellulitis, especially on the face, arms, and upper torso. Cellulitis from a dog or cat bite or scratch may be caused by the Pasturella multocida bacteria. Cellulitis after an injury from a saltwater fish or shellfish can be due to the Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. These same bacteria can also cause cellulitis after a skin injury on the farm, especially while working with pigs or poultry.

Antibiotics such as derivatives of penicillin that are effective against the staph germ are used to treat cellulitis. If other bacteria, as determined by culture tests, turn out to be the cause, or if patients are allergic to penicillin, other appropriate antibiotics are substituted.

For More Information «Cellulitis»

  • Cellulitis - MayoClinic.com

    Cellulitis — Comprehensive overview covers causes, treatment and prevention of this potentially serious skin infection.

  • cellulitis: Definition from Answers.com

    Library > Literature & Language > Dictionary ( sĕl ' yə-lī ' tĭs ) n. A spreading inflammation of subcutaneous or connective tissue. [ CELLUL(E) + -ITIS

  • Cellulitis Skin Infection Treatment, Picture, Symptoms ...

    Get information on cellulitis (noncontagious spreading bacterial skin infection) treatment, causes, symptoms (pain, redness, swelling) and diagnosis. See a picture of ...

  • Cellulitis: What Is Cellulitis and What Causes it?

    Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria. ... What is cellulitis? Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria.

  • Cellulitis

    The term cellulitis is commonly used to indicate a nonnecrotizing inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues, a process related to acute infection that ...

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