Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of skin tissue that can cause the skin to look red, swollen, tender, and sore when pressed. The bacteria that may bring on this ailment can be passed on from one person to another, so extreme caution is necessary. This condition often attacks the lower leg skin.
Many people may think that cellulitis may have something to do with cellulite (the lumpy marks found in the buttocks and thighs). Do not be confused. Cellulitis is the more dangerous condition due to it is a serious infection while cellulite is completely benign.
This infection is a life-threatening condition if not treated promptly. Considering this infection can spread to the lymph nodes and blood vessels by invading the tissue under the skin.
Most cellulitis infections are commonly caused by Streptococcus and Staphylococcus bacteria. They infect the wound on the skin such as surgical wounds, scratches, and insect bites, skin irritation, and swollen skin.
This infection may also arise in various skin diseases such as tinea pedis, eczema, or psoriasis as well as due to radiotherapy. There are other bacteria strains that can lead to rare cases of cellulitis:
- Haemophilus influenzae. These bacteria commonly affect 6 years old on the face, arms, and upper body
- Pasteurella multocida. These bacteria can be transmitted through the bite or scratch of a dog or cat with a 24-hour incubation period
- Aeromonas hydrophillia dan Vibrio vulnificus. Both of these bacteria can be found in freshwater and seawater
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These bacteria arise in puncture wounds
- Erysipelothrix. It is transmitted in contaminated animal meat such as pigs
- Anaerobes, Eikenella and Streptococcus viridans. These bacteria may be passed on through human bites
Cellulitis may seem to occur spontaneously but if upon closer look, most patients have a break in their skin where the bacteria have gained entry into their deeper dermis layers. The infection usually starts as a small and painful area on the skin. The following are the common symptoms experienced by sufferers:
- Red Spots
- Skin blisters and dimpling
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Skin tenderness
These symptoms may occur very suddenly or may appear gradually. The redness of the skin may expand over several hours or days. Immediately, see a doctor if you have symptoms of cellulitis.
In general, the treatment will be adjusted to the type and severity of the infection as well as the patient’s overall condition. Most cases of cellulitis are usually mild and can resolve in a matter of days or weeks.
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Oral antibiotics are usually the first treatment option for people with a 7-14 day usage period. If the patient’s condition does not improve after 10 days or the symptoms worsen, the doctor will advise the patient to undergo treatment at the hospital. So, the antibiotics and other drugs can be given by injection.
However, if you have cellulitis, it is best to try natural home remedies first before turning to antibiotic treatment. Natural remedies are typically safe and will not put you at risk of severe side effects.
- Garlic. Garlic is powerful of antibacterial, antiviral properties, and potential ability to ward off antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
- Tea tree oil. This essential oil has strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.
- Oregano oil. Its compound provides antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that may be useful against cellulitis.
- Manuka honey. This honey is rich in phytochemicals that useful in controlling staph infections and may even inhibit MRSA infection.
- Fenugreek seeds and Echinacea. The flavonoids in fenugreek seek may help reduce skin inflammation and infections.
- Activated charcoal. It can help draw out toxins and chemical impurities from your body.
- Calendula. This flower promotes optimal blood flow to the affected areas and stimulates collagen production to speed up healing.