Cellulitis(symptoms, causes, differential diagnosis, complications, treatment)

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Cellulitis is a bacterial infection involving the inner layer of skin. It specially affects the dermis and subcutaneous fats.

Symptoms:

  • Red area of skin that tends to expand.
  • Swelling.
  • Tenderness.
  • Pain.
  • Warmth.
  • Fever.
  • Red spots.
  • Blisters.
  • Skin dimpling.

Causes:

  1. Staphylococcus aureus
  2. Streptococcus

Risk factors:

  • Trauma or cut to the skin.
  • Diabetes.
  • Circulatory problems.
  • Varicose veins(twisted, enlarged veins)
  • Weak immune system.
  • Eczema.

Differential diagnosis:

  • DVT
  • Stasis dermatitis
  • fasciitis
  • Gas gangrene
  • Tenia corporis

Complications:

  • Abscess
  • Fasciitis
  • Septicemia
  • Endocarditis
  • Extensive tissue damage
  • Gangrene
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Meningitis
  • Shock

Treatment:

  1. Antibiotics 5 to 14 days
  2. Analgesic
  3. Place a cool, damp cloth on the affected area as often as needed for your comfort.
  4. Elevate the effected part of your body.

Antibiotics used to treat cellulitis include

  • Penicillin
  • Amoxicillin
  • Amoxicillin and clavulanate(Augmentin)
  • Ampicillin and sulbactam
  • Piperacillin and tazobactam
  • Cefazolin
  • Cephalexin
  • Ceftriaxone

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