Cellulitis is a bacterial infection involving the inner layers of the skin. It specifically affects the dermis and subcutaneous fat. Signs and symptoms include an area of redness which increases in size over a couple of days. The borders of the area of redness are generally not sharp and the skin may be swollen. While the redness often turns white when pressure is applied this is not always the case. The area of infection is usually painful
The typical signs and symptoms of cellulitis is an area which is red, hot, and painful. The photos shown here of are of mild to moderate cases, and are not representative of earlier stages of the condition.
Cellulitis is most often a clinical diagnosis, readily identified in many people by history and physical examination alone, with rapidly spreading areas of cutaneous edema, redness and heat, occasionally associated with inflammation of regional lymph nodes. While classically distinguished as a separate entity from erysipelas by spreading more deeply to involve the subcutaneous tissues, many clinicians may classify erysipelas as cellulitis. Both are often treated similarly, but cellulitis associated with furuncles, carbuncles, or abscesses is usually caused S. aureus, which may affect treatment decisions, especially antibiotic selection. Skin aspiration of non-purulent cellulitis, usually caused by streptococcal organisms, is rarely helpful for diagnosis and blood cultures are positive in fewer than 5% of all cases
It was consistently featured in the top ten causes of hospitalization for years 2007 to 2009, and in 2009 there were approximately 9000 admissions for skin and soft tissue infections.1 In the Singapore General Hospital, there were 1256 admissions in 2010 for skin and soft tissue infections; with the majority (92%) having a diagnosis of cellulitis. Of concern, 26% were admitted for more than 10 days, and 14% were re-admitted within the same year for recurrence of the same condition.