Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

What Is Cellulitis and How Can I Avoid It?

What Is Cellulitis and How Can I Avoid It?

Our specialty team at mydoc Urgent Care provides exceptional medical services to individuals of all ages from locations in East Meadow, Forest Hills, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, New York. We’re also committed to providing the information you need to make informed decisions about your health.

Here’s what we’d like you to know about cellulitis and the danger it poses to your overall wellbeing.

Understanding cellulitis

Cellulitis is a potentially serious bacterial skin infection that, according to the National Institutes of Health, is diagnosed in more than 14 million people in the United States every year and leads to about 650,000 hospitalizations annually.

Caused by a break in the skin that allows bacteria to enter the deeper skin layers, cellulitis may lead to extensive tissue damage and even tissue death (gangrene).

Left untreated, cellulitis can spread into the lymph nodes and bloodstream, where it can quickly expand throughout the body and may lead to a life-threatening systemic infection (sepsis).

Though rare, cellulitis complications also include necrotizing fasciitis, or “flesh-eating disease,” linked to group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.

Cellulitis causes and symptoms

Most often caused by streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria that are common in the environment, cellulitis can occur rather suddenly. It frequently develops on the legs and feet but can appear anywhere on the body.

Although it may be related to a laceration or obvious break in the skin, cellulitis can also occur in areas where skin is irritated or weakened by conditions such as:

Animal bites or cuts sustained while swimming or wading are also common triggers for cellulitis. 

Symptoms to watch for include:

Note that individuals who are obese or have conditions such as diabetes that weaken the immune system have an increased risk of developing cellulitis. 

Treating cellulitis

Cellulitis requires medical care that typically includes oral antibiotic therapy, which is generally prescribed for 10-14 days. However, extensive infections, or those not responding to oral antibiotics within three days, may require hospitalization and treatment with intravenous (IV) antibiotics. 

Avoiding cellulitis

Though anyone can develop cellulitis for no discernable reason, you can help lower your risk by:

It’s also important to wear appropriate footwear such as quick-drying or submersible shoes that protect your feet when wading. 

Be sure to change socks or shoes that become wet, however, since the moisture can cause fungal infections and other issues that increase your risk of cellulitis. 

For an accurate diagnosis and treatment for cellulitis, take advantage of our walk-in services or schedule a same-day appointment at mydoc Urgent Care today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why and When Is a Pap Smear Recommended?

The Pap test is one of the most successful cancer screening tools ever made available in the United States, and doctors still recommend it as part of your routine preventive care. Check these facts about when and why to have a Pap smear.

Best Treatments for Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding

Anything from too much stress to a complex condition such as endometriosis can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding. Read about treatments for periods that last too long or occur more frequently than expected.

Why Can Pain Be Delayed After a Car Accident?

Are you feeling worse now than you did right after your car accident? Are you wondering why that is? Our team explains why you may have a delayed pain response after an injury and how we can help.

How to Attack Your Allergies Head-On This Year

Whether they’re seasonal or keep you sniffling all year long, you shouldn’t — and you don’t — have to live with allergies. Our team explains how to tackle allergy symptoms before they make your life miserable.

What Are the Advantages of Telemedicine?

Imagine the convenience of a doctor’s visit that lets you stay home when you’re sick or spares you a journey through traffic when you need a medication refill. These are just two of the many benefits of telemedicine. Read more from our team.