Cellulitis - Overview
Skin infection - bacterial
Definition of Cellulitis:
Cellulitis is a common skin infection caused by bacteria.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
Staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria are the most common causes of cellulitis.
Normal skin has many types of bacteria living on it. When there is a break in the skin, these bacteria can cause a skin infection. Skin in the infected area will become red, hot, irritated, and painful.
Risk factors for cellulitis include:
- Cracks or peeling skin between the toes
- History of peripheral vascular disease
- Injury or trauma with a break in the skin (skin wounds)
- Insect bites and stings, animal bites, or human bites
- Ulcers from certain diseases, including diabetes and vascular disease
- Use of corticosteroid medications or medications that suppress the immune system
- Wound from a recent surgery
- Reviewed last on: 5/13/2011
- Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009; chap 9.
Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 90.
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