Cellulitis

Skin infection - bacterial; Group A streptococcus - cellulitis; Staphylococcus - cellulitis

Cellulitis is a common skin infection caused by bacteria. It affects the middle layer of the skin (dermis) and the tissues below. Sometimes, muscle can be affected.

Skin layers

The skin is the largest organ of the body. The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection. It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature. The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells. Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin. The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to. Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore. Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a deep infection of the skin, usually accompanied by generalized (systemic) symptoms such as fever and chills. The area of redness increases in size as the infection spreads. The center of the circled lesion has been biopsied.

Cellulitis on the arm

Cellulitis is a noncontagious inflammation of the connective tissue of the skin, resulting from a bacterial infection. Antibiotics are given to control infection, and analgesics may be needed to control pain. Within 7 to 10 days of treatment cellulitis can be cured.

Periorbital cellulitis

Periorbital cellulitis is an acute infection of the tissues surrounding the eye, which may progress to orbital cellulitis with protrusion of the eyeball. Complications include meningitis.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention