Cellulitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue. The immediate consequences are inflammation of skin's subcutaneous layers. The most common causes are bacteria, either it is one from the own flora or an exogenous one. It occurs when the patient has burns, cuts, blisters or insect bites and it is usually located on legs and arms, being the most exposed to both injuries and bacteria.
Cellulitis symptoms are mainly treated with antibiotics, after choosing the appropriate one for the bacteria that caused the infection.
Cellulitis symptoms include:
If the infection spreads, may occur fever and chills, along with lymph nodes inflamation. In rare cases, cellulitis can cause high fever, mental confusion or drowsiness. Cellulitis can be located anywhere, but is found more frequently on the skin of the legs, and of the upper face. Although infection is usually not severe in adults, in some cases can rapidly spread, causing more intense symptoms.
Cellulitis symptoms in children
The most frequent location of cellulitis in children is on the face, legs, upper and adjacent anus area. Swelling and redness are large and poorly demarcated. Cellulitis is most severe among newborn babies and infants because of the incompletely developement of the immune system at this age that can not protect the body against such infections. With the progression of this disease, cellulitis can cause intense pain, swelling, discomfort, visual disturbances (in case that cellulitis has a periocular location), meningitis (blood and lymphatic dissemination of the infection) and rarely, even death.
Cellulitis symptoms in adults
Adult cellulitis is often located in a surgical or traumatic wound, such as a cut, a burn or an animal bite. It occurs most commonly in the legs, but may have other locations as well, as face or ear. Sharp local pain and tenderness are the first cellulitis symptoms in this case. In rare cases, when severe sepsis is present,(systemic inflammatory response due to the presence of bacteria in blood), the first cellulitis symptom is hypotension.
It is characteristic of the appellant (recurrent) cellulitis, especially among people with immune system problems or skin diseases (fungal infections or complications of diabetes). Appellant cellulitis is more common among people with blood circulation or lymphatic problems. The reappearance of the disease in lower limbs can cause elephantiasis (massive edema with skin thickening).
Lower limb cellulitis is often complicated by thrombophlebitis.In this situation, blood forms emboli (clots) that cause swelling and circulatory disorders, this type of cellulitis being harder to treat. The most feared complication of this type of cellulitis is the venous embolization (clot moving through the venous system to other tissues and organs, causing them infarction).
Similar celulitis symptoms as pain, swelling and redness of the skin can be found in other conditions too, such as contact dermatitis (skin lesions occurring as a result of an allergic reaction triggered by contact with other substances) or zoster herpes (skin illness characterized by an eruption named pustule, recurrent, painful, with the etiology of varicella-zoster virus).
Cellulitis symptoms with preorbital localization (eye area)
Cellulitis symptoms of this tipe of illness are:
Ocular cellulitis requires emergency treatment to prevent irreversible complications such as blindness or meningitis (after the infection spreads in the brain).