Cellulitis is a skin infection that happens when bacteria enters the skin through a break or cut and spreads to deeper tissues. Mild cases of cellulitis are easily treated, but if the condition progresses it can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening infection.


Cellulitis is fairly common and affects people of all races and ages. Even skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and fungal infections can cause breaks in the skin that allow germs in and lead to cellulitis.

Symptoms of cellulitis may include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Swollen glands and lymph nodes
  • Painful, red, and tender skin
  • Skin may blister then scab over
cellulitis on leg


Cellulitis is treated with antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, these medications may be prescribed in pill form, or in more severe cases, they may be administered by IV.

Other ways to speed recovery and relieve symptoms:

  • Elevating the affected limb
  • Applying warm compresses
  • Taking pain relievers as prescribed

Treating even minor wounds right away can help prevent cellulitis. Keep wounds clean and dry, apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with a bandage. If you notice redness, swelling, or other signs of infection, seek medical care.

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cellulitis on the shoulder
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