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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Cellulitis
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and the layer of tissue under the skin.

What is going on in the body?

Cellulitis most often develops on the legs but can be seen on the face and on any other skin on the body. It tends to affect a fairly large area of skin. Cellulitis is usually due to an infection of the skin with bacteria, but it may also be caused by a fungus.

What are the causes and risks of the infection?

Cellulitis is usually caused by a break in the skin that becomes infected with bacteria or fungi. It can occur in wounds caused by injury and in surgical wounds. It can also occur when there is no obvious break in the skin.

Risk factors for cellulitis include the following:

  • recent surgery
  • diabetes
  • recent chickenpox infection
  • immunodeficiency disorder, in which the body's infection-fighting mechanisms are impaired. People with AIDS, for example, have a significant risk of cellulitis.
  • impaired circulation, such as peripheral arterial disease, which limits blood flow to the legs and arms
  • chronic use of steroids


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    Cellulitis: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Deirdre Monroe, RPh
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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