Are you having skin problems? If so, you could be experiencing cellulitis. Cellulitis is an infection of the skin. Unlike superficial infections, such as impetigo, cellulitis can reach down into the deepest layers of skin, which can make it a more serious infection. It can be caused by a variety of bacteria, such as staph and MRSA infections. If left untreated, the infection can become serious and spread, which is why it is important to get medical treatment from a Dartmouth, Massachusetts, doctor right away if you think you might be affected.
Often, the symptoms of cellulitis are very noticeable. While cellulitis can occur on any part of the skin, it is more common on the legs. In addition, it may develop from a pre-existing break on the skin, like a surgical wound or an ulcer. If you have the condition, the area might feel warm to the touch and be painful, red, or swollen.
Who Gets Cellulitis?
Unlike many other diseases, cellulitis seems to affect men and women equally and can be seen in people of all ages and races. However, older people are more likely to experience cellulitis than young children. While anyone can develop the condition, it is not contagious.
Risk Factors for Cellulitis
Some skin problems can make it easier for you to contract cellulitis. Any break in the skin can make it more possible to suffer from cellulitis. These breaks can be as small as an insect bite or more significant, such as a surgical wound. Sometimes, cellulitis occurs when there is no visible break in the skin. This most likely happens because there is a very small entry point for the infection to begin. You might not even notice it until you start to develop symptoms of the infection. That is why it is so important to keep areas of broken skin as clean as possible.
People who suffer from autoimmune diseases are more likely to contract cellulitis. For example, those with HIV/AIDS, who have diabetes, or who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment are at an increased risk for the condition. Therefore, it is important for these individuals to be even more vigilant about their skin health and to notify their doctors about any worrying changes to their skin that they may notice.
Treatment for Cellulitis
A doctor will first have to determine if you do, in fact, have cellulitis and not another type of skin infection. He or she might do this with a white blood cell count. In most cases, oral antibiotics will be administered to the patient if he or she is diagnosed with cellulitis. More serious cases could require intravenous antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
Do you think that you or a loved one may be suffering from cellulitis? If so, it is important to see a doctor right away, as the infection can become serious if it spreads. Come to Prime Medical Associates to get the help you need. We work hard to get you back to feeling your best no matter what your diagnosis is.