The skin, an organ that covers the outside of our body, acts as a barrier against harmful external stimuli, performs sensory functions, and plays an essential role in maintaining life, such as preventing the outflow of electrolytes and water. This skin is composed of the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat layer, and when viral and bacterial infections occur, various related diseases are induced. Cellulitis refers to an acute suppurative inflammatory disease caused by the penetration of bacteria into the epidermis and dermis of the skin, and is also called cellulitis. It is known that the main cause of cellulitis is bacterial infection such as group A hemolytic streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus. Pneumonia, Escherichia coli, and Vibrio streptococci are also said to act as the cause of the outbreak. It is said that the route of infection of these bacteria is easily caused by athlete’s foot and the sores between the toes. In addition, it is highly likely to occur when there is a prior infection such as folliculitis, ulcers, trauma, and diabetes. Due to this characteristic of occurrence, the incidence is high in hot and humid summer, when bacteria are activated, and it is reported that the risk of disease is high even in the elderly or when the body’s immune function is lowered. Now, let’s learn about the various symptoms, treatment, and prevention related to cellulitis.
Main symptoms of cellulitis
In the early stages of cellulitis, various symptoms such as headache, chills, fever, muscle pain, and loss of appetite may appear. In addition, erythema, a localized red spot, appears at the site of infection, mainly on the legs. After symptoms such as fever and chills, the erythema becomes clear and spreads rapidly to the surroundings. And when you touch the erythema part, you feel a warm feeling, and when you press it with your finger, it appears with tenderness and pain. In addition, not only blisters with pus, but also purple spots, where the skin turns purple or red due to subcutaneous bleeding, may occur. Treatment of cellulitis can be relatively simple if detected and taken at an early stage, but if left unattended or delayed, treatment becomes difficult due to the spread of inflammation. If the symptoms become severe and spread to the surrounding area, complications such as enlargement of the infection site and necrosis of the skin, sepsis, osteomyelitis, and suppurative arthritis can occur, and in the worst case, it can lead to life-threatening and fatal results. Therefore, it is very important to visit a hospital for proper diagnosis and treatment before symptoms worsen, and it is important to prevent them in advance by improving various lifestyle habits that cause them. How to treat and prevent cellulitis
1. Conduct multiple tests and treatments
Cellulitis can be accurately diagnosed through clinical symptoms confirmation, blood tests, and bacterial culture tests. X-ray examination, CT, or MRI examination may be performed to check for complications of other diseases. If cellulitis is confirmed, antibiotic treatment is performed to treat the causative organism, and anti-inflammatory analgesics are used to relieve fever and pain caused by additional infection. Also, if you have athlete’s foot, antifungal treatment will be performed concurrently. And if the symptoms do not improve despite these various treatments or if the inflammation has spread, you may be hospitalized and receive intensive treatment.
2. Management to minimize infection by wounds
In order to prevent cellulitis, it is important to first take care not to injure the skin, and when a wound occurs, it is very important to keep it clean to prevent bacterial infection. In particular, if you have diabetes or athlete’s foot, it is most important to manage carefully so as not to injure yourself because there is a high risk of developing a bacterial infection. And after outdoor activities, you must shower, and if there is a wound, it is recommended to dry it completely, then disinfect it and apply ointment. However, if pus is formed in the wound area, it is recommended to treat it through a visit to the hospital without squeezing it arbitrarily. And since there is a possibility of being bitten by mosquitoes or insects, it is said that it is a good way to install a screen to prevent inflow in windows, drains, and sinks in summer when there are many mosquitoes and insects.
3. Cold compress
In the early stages of the symptoms of cellulitis, it is known that just applying a cold compress to the lesion area using a cold towel or a bag of ice can help relieve symptoms. In particular, when itching is severe when bitten by mosquitoes or insects, cold compresses are said to be beneficial in preventing the itching and the spread of inflammation. And when you have cellulitis symptoms in your legs, it is recommended to be careful because exercising for a long time or walking for a long time can make the symptoms worse. In addition, it is known that placing the infected area higher than the heart area helps a quick recovery, so placing your legs on a chair, sofa, bed, etc. is said to help a lot.