Symptoms and Signs of Cellulitis

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Cellulitis

Cellulitis is the medical terms for a spreading bacterial infection of the skin and the soft tissues directly beneath the skin. Streptococcus and Staphylococcus bacteria are the most common causes of cellulitis. However, other kinds of bacteria can also cause cellulitis. Cellulitis is not contagious from person to person.

Cellulitis can affect any part of the body. The legs are a common location. It typically starts as a small red area on the skin surface that enlarges with time. Signs and symptoms associated with cellulitis include swelling, redness, warmth, and pain and tenderness. In more serious cases, there is risk of spread of the infection to the bloodstream. In more advanced cases, fever, chills, sweats, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the area may occur.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.