Overview on adult cellulitis

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Adult cellulitis is a common form of bacterial infection affecting the skin and deeper tissues. It often develops in the legs but can form in any part of the body. Remember that this condition is not contagious.

Cellulitis can be brought about by various strains of bacteria. The usual cause is an infection due to the bacteria Streptococcus. It can also be triggered by Staphylococcus or even Pasteurella multicoda when it comes to cat or dog bites. Around 25% of cases can be triggered by MRSA.

Any individual with a cut, sore, scrape, insect bite as well as other open wounds can end up with cellulitis. Injuries that occur while in dirty surroundings can increase the risk for the infection.

Additional risk factors

  • Skin infections such as scabies, impetigo or athlete’s foot
  • Skin ulcers
  • Having fragile skin
  • Skin inflammation such as in eczema
  • Had a previous liposuction
  • Using prohibited drugs via the skin
  • Dog or cat bites
    Any individual with a cut, sore, scrape, insect bite as well as other open wounds can end up with cellulitis.
  • Being exposure to MRSA
  • Edema in the legs or arms

In some individuals, usually those who have a compromised immune system from diabetes or other ailments, are likely to develop cellulitis from a sore or cut. The elderly and those with poor circulation are also at risk.


An individual with cellulitis might notice symptoms in the affected area before he/she starts to feel sick. The usual indications include tenderness, pain and redness in the site as the body attempts to fight the infection.

Other symptoms that might arise include:

  • Warmth
  • Swollen skin
  • Fever
  • Skin with a “pitted” appearance
  • Drainage from the skin
  • Blisters filled with fluid
  • Rapid pulse rate
  • Swollen lymph nodes close to the affected site

Once any of these symptoms are present, a doctor must be seen right away.

Management of cellulitis

In most cases of adult cellulitis, it is generally treated using antibiotics such as cephalexin or dicloxacillin. The oral variants of these medications are used.

As for serious cases, the antibiotics are administered intravenously. This might be needed for individuals suffering from high fever.

The application of a warm compress or cool dressing on the affected area can minimize the symptoms and irritation. Raising or elevating the affected area can also lower the swelling.

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