What is leg cellulite?

Leg cellulitis is a painful skin rash on the lower or upper legs that usually results from a bacterial infection. Strains of staph, strep, and other common bacteria can enter the skin through a break, cut, or insect bite. The redness and tenderness tend to develop rapidly, and symptoms of fever and chills may develop if the infection is not treated immediately. Prescription oral antibiotics and topical creams are usually enough to get rid of cellulitis on the legs, but a serious infection may require hospitalization and more aggressive treatment.

Bacteria can invade the inner layers of skin tissue on the leg through an open wound, bite, or ulcer. People who have excessively dry and flaky skin can also develop cellulite on their legs, even if the visible wounds are not obvious. A person of any age can develop the condition, but young children, people over the age of 60, and people with disorders that compromise their immune systems are at highest risk of infection. Other chronic conditions that increase the likelihood of leg ulcers, including diabetes, are often responsible for recurrent cellulitis of the legs.

Within a few hours or days of infection, the skin around the wound tends to be red, tender, and warm. Mild swelling is common as the inflammation worsens and the rash may or may not be itchy. Over time, an untreated rash usually begins to spread over a wide area of ​​the leg, possibly affecting the buttocks, groin area, and abdomen. Fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as joint aches and chills, are common as the infection spreads. It is important to visit a doctor or emergency room when symptoms become severe to prevent the infection from spreading to the heart, brain, and other vital organs.

Doctors can usually diagnose cellulitis of the legs by carefully inspecting a rash and asking about symptoms. To determine the bacteria responsible for the infection, a blood or tissue sample may be collected for laboratory testing. The doctor can also check for swollen lymph nodes and check for lung and throat infections.

Children and adults who have relatively mild symptoms are usually given prescription antibiotics. A doctor usually provides a topical pain reliever to relieve pain and swelling. By taking medications as directed, resting, and staying hydrated, most people begin to feel better in about two weeks.

A patient who has severe symptoms related to cellulitis of the leg may be admitted to the hospital. Intravenous antibiotics, fluids, and fever-reducing medications are given to control symptoms. Doctors carefully monitor patients' conditions and test for underlying autoimmune disorders. With prompt treatment, even severe cases of leg cellulitis can usually be cured.

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