Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin that is usually caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria. It is an infection of the deeper layers of skin that makes the affected areas look red and swollen. In most cases, cellulitis is painful. Though the symptoms can be visible anywhere on the body, it mostly affects one of the legs. Cellulitis is not contagious as it is an infection of the deeper layers of skin and the dermis; however, it can spread through damaged tissues, cuts, or cracks. Treatment is required to reduce the symptoms as well as control the bacterial infection. There are some typical symptoms associated with this condition, on the appearance of which, one must visit a physician as soon as possible.
Any infection, including bacterial infection, can cause a fever. Your body temperature rises in response to cellulitis. You may have a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. You can also get chills, sweats, and shakes. See your doctor to seek treatment for the fever as soon as possible. He may prescribe another course of treatment for your condition.
Swelling of the Eyelids
Red, swollen eyelids indicate cellulitis. Most cellulitis patients, particularly children, develop swollen eyelids, and the area surrounding the eyes also swells. You may find it hard to open your eye. Dermatitis is the usual cause of swollen eyelids, but only your doctor can diagnose if you have cellulitis. In severe cases, the infection can reach the brain and spinal cord, forming blood clots around the eye. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.
Red Streaking And Warm Skin
Sometimes, the affected area becomes dark red with visible streaks shooting outwards. Warmth radiated from the affected area compared with surrounding skin. As the lymph glands become infected, a chain of red streaks develops in the skin. This can cause low blood pressure. Apart from this, the affected area will feel warm and swollen. In case there is no increased warmth it’s probably not cellulitis.
Weeping fluid is a common symptom of cellulitis. If you get this condition, expect abscesses that leak yellow, clear fluid under the skin. You can also develop large blisters in the area. Bacteria and dead white blood cells build up and trigger these symptoms. Your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics to help clear out the abscess. The yellow fluid can be drained from the lump via a small incision in the skin made by a qualified medical professional.
Muscle Aches And Pain
Often patients of cellulitis complain of muscle aches and a feeling of tiredness. A consistent throbbing sensation suggests that the infection is progressing. As the cellulitis causes damage to lymph vessels, you can experience discomfort and muscle aches from time to time. If the infection spreads to the blood system, it becomes septic. Visit your doctor in the area become red and painful. Use warm compresses to relieve pain and inflammation on the affected area.
You may feel fatigued when you have cellulitis. A general ill feeling, loss of appetite and a constant headache are common in cellulitis patients. Your weakened immune system may bring on bouts of rapid breathing or sudden dizziness. The severity differs from person to person, but many people feel tired weak all the time.
Skin Rash and Sores
In the beginning, cellulitis typically starts with a rash or a sore. Then, the texture of your skin changes. The rash or a sore may gro quickly in the first 24 hours and may become itchy and painful. As the tissue below the surface of skin becomes infected, the rashes become prominent. As the infection spreads, skin redness and inflammation increase. Open sores allow bacteria to spread in the skin.
Nausea And Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting signal that the infection has begun to spread. When you move around or lie down, you feel nauseous, start vomiting and lose your appetite. This stage can go quickly or linger. You may have an uncomfortable feeling in your chest and the back of the throat or experience dizziness.
Extreme Swelling and Hardening of Affected Area
Cellulitis makes your skin feel hot and tender to the touch. You develop tight, glossy skin when you get cellulitis. As the infection spreads, the affected area swells. A hardened red area protrudes from your skin. Even when lightly touched, the reddened area is painful, and the extremity may become numb.
Loss of Hair at the Infected Site
Cellulitis is a skin-related infection, but it can cause you to lose your hair. The skin inflammation starts when bacteria attack your body. Most cellulitis patients lose some hair. Thankfully, the hair loss isn’t permanent. Your doctor may be able to provide advice on how to mitigate the initial hair loss, but it eventually grows back as you get better.