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. Lymphatic vessels may occasionally be involved,[ and the person may have a fever and feel tired.
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.
Antibiotics are usually prescribed, with the agent selected based on suspected organism and presence or absence of purulence, although the best treatment choice is unclear. If an abscess is also present surgical drainage is usually indicated, with antibiotics often prescribed for co-existent cellulitis, especially if extensive. Pain relief is also often prescribed, but excessive pain should always be investigated as it is a symptom of necrotizing fasciitis. Elevation of the affected area is often recommended
A population-based insurance claims database was used to examine cellulitis incidence, anatomical sites of infection, complicating diagnoses, source of health service, and recurrence rates. Insurance claim files were searched for cellulitis ICD-9-CM codes 681.0-682.9. Complications of cellulitis including erysipelas, lymphadenitis, lymphangitis, and necrotizing fasciitis were also identified by ICD-9-CM codes.