Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infection that is commonly caused by staphylococcus and streptococcus class of bacteria, it can present anywhere on your body including your legs. Cellulitis usually affects the surface of your skin however in some cases it can spread to your bloodstream and lymph nodes. It is usually painful and can become life threatening if not addressed early enough. Thus it is important to know what to look for when trying to confirm if you have cellulitis.
What are the symptoms?
- Pain and tenderness in the affected area
- Redness of your skin
- A skin sore or rash that appears and grows quickly
- A tight, glossy, swollen appearance of the skin
- A feeling of warmth in the affected area
- A central area that has an abscess with pus formation
- A fever
In more serious cases when the infection has spread you may see:
- The feeling of chills
- Muscle ache
- Warmth of the skin
- Profuse sweating
In some cases, there may be signs that the infection is spreading such as:
- Blistering of the skin
- Red streaks
What can cause the infection?
- A weakened immune system
- Skin conditions that can cause cracks in the skin such as eczema and athlete’s foot
- Intravenous (IV) drug use
- A history of previous cellulitis flare up
- Cuts to the skin
- Insect bites
- Surgical procedures
If you think the symptoms mentioned match what you are experiencing right now, it is important to seek medical attention immediately as some of the complications associated with cellulitis can be debilitating such as a blood infection, a bone infection or even tissue death (gangrene).