Cellulitis is not a threatening condition in most cases and can be treated with antibiotics without much cause for worry. It is when it is left undiagnosed and advance to a certain level that it becomes dangerous and even life threatening.
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection caused on the surface of the skin by streptococcus bacteria. The bacteria enter the skin through wounds and reach the blood stream, infecting lymph nodes in advanced cases. Most people realise that they have cellulitis when the infection proceeds and creates pain and lymph node inflammation which is accompanied by fever and chills. So how do you identify whether you have cellulitis and get treatment at the initial stage? Here are some ways to identify the symptoms of cellulitis.
1. Examine the skin surface thoroughly, especially if you feel slight changes on the surface of the skin and pain and swelling as well. Initially the skin surface presents itself with red spots that are small and with swelling. Use a well lit area for inspection as the skin surface must b clearly visible to be able to see the changes on the skin. If you feel or see anything unnatural, keep an eye on the skin and see if it goes away, as it could even be a simple insect bite as well.
2. Check your body temperature. Cellulitis almost always manifests itself with a fever or the body temperature will be high and you will start getting chills as well due to the bacterial infection. If you have a fever, it could be a cellulitis infection. There could also be a lymph node inflammation. Check for inflamed lymph nodes connected to the area of your infection.
3. Next, you need to assess it you have recently suffered an injury, accident or wound which has left a wound on your skin. In most cases, cellulitis appears when the bacteria enter an open wound. Check for the wound getting infected or if you have not been careful about cleaning and dressing it well.
4. The swelling and area affected by cellulitis will be hot to touch due to the pus formation and bacterial action. Ask someone else to touch the skin where you suspect has an infection. The skin will be tender, red, warm and swollen with pain when you touch. These are sure symptoms that point to a cellulitis infection. These changes have to be taken into consideration and immediately reported to the doctor.
5. Finally, check if any area of the swelling is developing a rash which is red in colour. When a rash is developing, the skin turns red and a blister starts developing on the area. The onset of a rash means that the cellulitis is spreading fast and is becoming worse. Do not wait for further symptoms to show up, as cellulitis infections in its severest forms lead to gas gangrene which is life threatening and there could be severe conditions where the patients is required to ampute the infected area to prevent the spread of infection.