Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Cellulitis Treatment?
Although common, cellulitis can cause serious complications if not properly treated. At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our experienced medical professionals work with patients to provide a personalized plan to treat symptoms and cure this condition.
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that affects the deep layers of the skin. It occurs when bacteria enters the skin through lesions caused by injuries, such as cuts or fractures. Cellulitis can also quickly spread to other areas of the body. If treatment is postponed, cellulitis can reach the bloodstream and become life-threatening. Skin inflammation, swelling, and fever are all symptoms of cellulitis, which usually affects people with weakened immune systems. Despite the fact that cellulitis responds well to antibiotics and its prognosis is generally good, one should seek treatment immediately if any symptoms are present to prevent serious complications. Cellulitis most commonly affects the skin on the lower legs, but it can appear on any part of the body, including the face. The skin surface of a cellulitis affected area is usually swollen, red, and painful to the touch.
For most patients affected by cellulitis, the best treatment option are antibiotics. However, if an abscess is located in the infected area, drainage is generally recommended.
Oral Antibiotics »
There are five main types of cellulitis, which are named for the body area that is affected: leg, hand, facial, periorbital, and orbital cellulitis. Cellulitis is also classified by the type of bacteria that is causing the infection: Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Periorbital cellulitis »
Facial cellulitis »
Orbital cellulitis »
Hand cellulitis »
Leg cellulitis »
Symptoms of Cellulitis
The most common symptoms of cellulitis are:
In severe cases, the symptoms listed above can also be accompanied by:
Diagnosis of Cellulitis
Cellulitis is usually diagnosed with a standard physical exam and an analysis of the patient’s medical history. Other procedures used in diagnosing cellulitis include blood tests, which can determine whether the infection has infiltrated the bloodstream; X-rays, which may be required if there is a foreign object underneath the skin, or to determine whether there is infection in the bone.
Risk Factors for Cellulitis
There are a series of factors which can increase a person’s risk of developing cellulitis. They include:
- Lymphedema (chronic swelling of the arms and legs): Due to this condition, the skin is more likely to crack, exposing the deeper layers which could easily be permeated by bacteria.
- Weakened immune system: Whether one’s immune system is deteriorated due to a chronic condition such as diabetes, or as a result of taking certain types of medication, a weakened immune system always makes a patient vulnerable to numerous infections, including cellulitis.
- Obesity: The risk of cellulitis is also increased in overweight or obese patients.
- History of cellulitis: If you've had cellulitis before, the chances of developing it again are significantly higher.
- Other skin conditions: Eczema, chickenpox, and athlete’s foot are only a few of the other skin conditions that can make a person prone to cellulitis.
Causes of Cellulitis
Cellulitis is caused by certain types of bacteria entering the surface of the skin through a break, such as a cut, a fracture, a scrape, an insect bite, surgical incision, or burn. Most cases of cellulitis are the result of a Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacterial infection.
Homeopathy has proven to be effective in treating certain cases of cellulitis, as well as alleviating some of its symptoms. However, cellulitis is a serious and potentially life-threatening infection which can lead to major complications. Thus, it is strongly recommended that the patient undergoes both types of treatment simultaneously – oral or intravenous antibiotics as prescribed by their doctor, as well as homeopathic remedies. Some of the most commonly used natural remedies for cellulitis are:
- Tea Tree Oil: Can relieve skin pain and discomfort due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Turmeric: A strong natural antibiotic which can benefit the affected areas of skin.
- Calendula: Stimulates the production of collagen, thus speeding up the healing process of a wound or injury.
- Garlic: Ingested or used in its oil form, garlic is known for its antibacterial properties.
- Goldenseal: Applied on the damaged skin, this plant can reverse the bacterial action to a certain extent.
You can prevent cellulitis by making these simple yet effective lifestyle choices:
- Moisturize your skin on a daily basis: Keeping the skin hydrated and lubricated prevents it from peeling.
- Protect your hands and feet: Wear weather- and environment-appropriate footwear and gloves in order to avoid injuries and prevent cracking skin.
- Cut fingernails and toenails carefully: It is not recommended to take care of your nails when you are in a hurry or using a poor source of lighting, as this may increase the risk of injury to the surrounding skin.
- If you have an existing wound or injury: If you have a break in the skin, no matter how superficial, it is highly suggested you take certain precautions. Wash the area it at least once a day with soap and water; apply antibiotic or anti-inflammatory ointment afterwards; cover the wound with a bandage, which should be changed daily. Watch out for early signs of infection, such as inflammation, redness, or drainage.
Are you suffering from cellulitis? For any questions, information or guidance related to cellulitis treatment, get in touch with our skilled general surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.