Identifying and Treating Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a little known condition that often gets mixed up with ‘cellulite’. However the two are completely different and share nothing in common with one being a skin infection and the other being related to extra fat. Instead cellulitis has more in common with other skin infections such as gangrene and is actually caused by the ‘staphylococcus virus’ or ‘staphy virus’ as it’s more casually known. This is the same virus that causes MRSA and the bacteria responsible is found on the skin of 30% of healthy adults. It’s only when the skin gets broken however that this then causes a problem and in the case of cellulitis, a skin infection.

Often cellulitis will occur as the result of a relatively small cut, with the actual size being immaterial so long as it’s subjected to the bacteria. Over time then an infected individual will notice that the pain from the cut starts to increase and that it feels ‘bruised’ around the area. Often this takes a couple of days to notice as cuts are sometimes known to get more painful at random intervals. With cellulitis however the cut will often go from very minor to quite inhibiting and if it’s on your leg you might find yourself having to limp.

At the same time you will notice that the area around your cut begins to change colour. This will likely look as though your skin is getting darker and there might be a ‘blackish/bluish’ tone with shades of yellow. Alternatively the area around it might simply be more red and be saw to the touch. Notably at this stage you will also be likely to experience some symptoms of infection that mimic those of a bad cold or flu. These can include nausea, weakness, dizziness, raised temperature, headache and shortness of breath. This will be exacerbated during exertion.

Fortunately cellulitis is not a dangerous condition as long as it is treated early, though in infants it can be more serious and in some rare cases fatal. It is important then to ensure you catch the development of the condition early and thereby stop it before it spreads.

When you do identify the condition your doctor should prescribe you with antibiotics. If you complete this course as advised then this should eliminate the infection.

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