Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that affects the dermis and subcutaneous tissues. It is typically caused by bacteria, such as Streptococcus or Staphylococcus aureus, entering the skin through a cut, scratch, or insect bite. The infection causes inflammation and redness of the skin, which can spread rapidly and become very painful.
Cellulitis is usually treated with antibiotics, such as penicillins, cephalosporins, or macrolides, to kill the bacteria causing the infection. The choice of antibiotic depends on the type and severity of the infection, as well as the patient’s medical history and any allergies they may have.
In addition to antibiotics, treatment for cellulitis may also include pain relievers and elevation of the affected limb to reduce swelling. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary for intravenous antibiotics and close monitoring.
Prevention of cellulitis involves good hygiene practices, such as washing and treating any cuts or wounds promptly, avoiding contact with people who have skin infections, and keeping the skin moisturized to prevent cracking and dryness. It is also important to manage underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or lymphedema, that can increase the risk of developing cellulitis.