What is Cellulitis?
Cellulitis is a common but serious skin infection that is caused by bacteria. It can spread quickly. Cellulitis cause the skin to feel hot and swollen and it affects the tissues in the deep layers of the skin. Though not contagious, it can be life-threatening if it is not treated. Since it is a bacterial infection, Cellulitis can be treated with antibiotics.
Symptoms of Cellulitis
Common symptoms of Cellulitis skin infections include:
- Redness of infection area on the skin
- Red spots
- Skin dimpling
If you are experiencing the symptoms of cellulitis, the team at SignatureCare Emergency Center is ready to help. Our board-certified doctors will work quickly to diagnose your disease in our no-wait emergency rooms. Call or make an appointment today. We have emergency rooms and walk-in clinics in Houston, Sugar Land/Mission Bend, Stafford, Austin and College Station, TX.
Causes of Cellulitis
Cellulitis is caused by bacteria that have entered the skin and it is commonly found on the lower legs.
Cellulitis may occur at the site of surgery, near a wound or where the skin is cracked and the bacteria can enter the body through skin that has been irritated by dermatitis or athlete’s foot. You may have a higher risk of developing cellulitis if you have diabetes, are obese, suffer from an immunodeficiency disease or engage in intravenous drug use. Any type of bacteria can cause cellulitis, but two types of bacteria are typically responsible.
Staphylococcus is a type of bacteria that is found in the hair and on the skin, and it can be present even when someone is healthy. While these bacteria may not cause any health issues, they can cause minor or severe cases of cellulitis. A staphylococcus infection can be transmitted to other people, and it can survive on inanimate objects such as towels and pillowcases.
Streptococcus is another type of bacteria, and there are two strains. Both groups of streptococcus bacteria can lead to cellulitis, and they are generally transmitted through direct contact with an individual who has the infection.
Emergency Room Treatment for Cellulitis
If you suspect that you have cellulitis, you will need to seek treatment. Symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, redness, pain, inflamed skin and tenderness. You may also have red spots or blisters on your skin.
When you visit an emergency room, a doctor will examine you and ask questions about how you may have gotten the infection. He may order blood tests or take a sample from the site of the infection, and he may order other tests to ensure that you don’t have a blood clot.
If you do have cellulitis, he may prescribe an oral antibiotic that is effective in fighting staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria. If the oral antibiotics are not working or if you have an advanced case of cellulitis, you may need to stay in the emergency room and receive intravenous antibiotics.
If you do not have a fever but your rash is red, swollen, tender and spreading quickly, you should make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Visit a nearby emergency room if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Red, swollen rash that is rapidly changing
- Decreased blood pressure
- Accelerated heartbeat
If you are experiencing symptoms of cellulitis, please visit SignatureCare Emergency Center Emergency Room locations. Our ER is open 24/7 to help you with your medical needs.