Bacteria that are present on the skin do not usually cause any harm. However, if the bacteria reaches deep into the skin, an infection can result. Generally, bacteria reach deeper into the skin through cuts, grazes, or bites. Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection of the dermis. Symptoms of this infection include warmth, tenderness, inflammation, swollenness, redness, pain, and sometimes blistering around the affected area. Treatments of this infection include keeping the area clean and dry, elevating infected areas above the heart, and when necessary taking antibiotics.
People Most Susceptible to Cellulitis
- Obese People – This group of people is more likely to have swelling in their legs, raising the chances of developing cellulitis.
- People Who Have Weakened Immune Systems – This group includes patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, have AIDS/HIV, and the very elderly.
- Diabetic People – Diabetes that is not properly treated or controlled leads to weakened immune systems. Circulatory problems can result, leading to skin ulcers. The poor control of blood glucose levels allows bacteria to quickly grow in affected tissue, facilitating in rapid progression should the infection enter the bloodstream.
- People with Poor Blood Circulation – Poor circulation leads to an increased likelihood of developing skin infections because the blood supply is not ideal for fighting off infections.
- People with Chickenpox and Shingles – These diseases cause skin blisters and if the blisters break they are ideal routs for bacteria to get into the skin.
- People suffering from Lymphodema – People with this disease tend to have swollen skin that is more likely to crack, which are perfect entry routes for bacteria.
- People who have Previously had Cellulitis – People who previously had this infection are at a higher risk of developing it again.
- People who Inject Illegal Drugs – When drug addicts do not have access to a consistent supply of clean needles they are more likely to suffer infections that are deep inside the skin.
- People who Live in Densely Populated Areas – People who share common living quarters have a higher incidence of this infection.
Cellulitis can lead to severe infections if it is not properly treated or managed. The infection could potentially spread to the underlying bone and the bloodstream, resulting in sepsis. If this infection escalated to sepsis, and you were not properly treated by you physician or hospital staff, you may be entitled to compensation for medical malpractice.
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