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- Cellulitis facts
- What is cellulitis?
- What are cellulitis symptoms and signs?
- Where does cellulitis occur?
- What does cellulitis look like?
- What are cellulitis risk factors?
- What causes cellulitis? Is cellulitis contagious?
- How is cellulitis diagnosed, and what is the treatment for cellulitis?
- Can cellulitis be prevented?
- What is the outlook/prognosis for cellulitis? What are complications of cellulitis?
What is cellulitis?
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin. Unlike impetigo, which is a very superficial skin infection, cellulitis is an infection that also involves the skin's deeper layers: the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.
The main bacteria responsible for cellulitis are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus ("staph"), the same bacteria that can cause impetigo. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph aureus) can also cause cellulitis. Sometimes, other bacteria (for example, Hemophilus influenzae, Pneumococcus, and Clostridium species) may cause cellulitis as well.
Cellulitis is fairly common and affects people of all races and ages. Men and women appear to be equally affected. Although cellulitis can occur in people of any age, it is most common in middle-aged and elderly people. Cellulitis is not contagious.