Some people may not ask, “What is cellulitis?” because they think they know. It is not the dimply fat that is commonly noticed on the thighs; in actuality, it is a bacterial infection of the skin’s dermal and subcutaneous layers.
Some medical conditions increase the risk of this bacterial infection. Natural remedies can be used to treat mild cellulitis. Commonly the infection can be treated with antibiotics but when the bacterium causing the infection is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) it can become life threatening and will need to be treated aggressively. This infection can often be prevented with good hygiene.
Normally it is either Staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria that causes cellulitis. The symptoms can be present in one area (local) or throughout the body (systemic). Redness and swelling is a sign of an infection, so if there is a red swollen area on the skin it should be monitored for signs of cellulitis. If there are signs of this type of infection, a healthcare professional can run some tests to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and then plan the best course of treatment.
Severe infections may cause near by lymph nodes to swell as well. When MRSA is the cause of the infection prompt treatment will be necessary.
What Are The Risk Factors
Most people have a variety of harmful and beneficial bacteria on the skin and they live in balance without causing problems. Some people with compromised immune systems and other medical problems will have an increase in risk of contracting this infection. Other risk factors include the following:
- Abrasions on the skin
- Dry cracked skin
- Skin ulcers
- Incisions from medical procedures or surgery
- Bug or animal bites
- Injury or trauma that causes a break in the skin
Any medical condition that causes skin problems may increase the risk.
How Can You Begin The Prevention
Preventing cellulitis can be done with good hygiene, a strong immune system, and covering breaks on the skin when areas that carry a high risk of bacterial infection. Washing with soap and water is the best way to prevent an infection. Avoiding and restricting the use of antibacterial products and antibiotics will prevent MRSA Cellulitis. Killing the beneficial bacteria will disrupt the balance of bacteria allowing stronger bacteria that are resistant to treatment to develop. Preventing this type of skin infection will prevent complications.
Understanding The Symptoms
Cellulitis is a common bacterial infection of the skin that usually doesn’t cause any complications. Staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria typically cause this infection. The symptoms of this skin infection include the following:
- Redness at the sight of the infection
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Fever, sweating, and chills
- Skin appearing stretched, glossy, and tight
- Warmth to the touch
- Fatigue and weakness
- Flu like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, etc)
- Muscle joints that are sore
- Body aches
The symptoms are similar to other illnesses so a medical professional should be consulted. If the infection rapidly gets worse and doesn’t respond to treatment, it may be severe.
Are There Natural Treatments?
Cellulitis is an infection that doesn’t commonly have complications and most cases can be treated with antibiotics. Mild cases can sometimes be treated naturally with the following:
- Australian Tea Tree oil
- Tea tree oil
- Drawing salve
- Manuka honey
Keeping breaks in the skin clean by washing with soap and water and keeping the area covered will prevent the infection from getting worse. When the infection is caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA antibiotics will need to be used to treat the infection. Only a healthcare professional will be able to determine if the infection will need antibiotics.
Some cellulitis infections will leave a scar after treatment. Scar treatment will be necessary if this occurs.
Onto The Complications
When cellulitis in not prevented and treatment is unsuccessful, there can be complications associated with the infection. When bacteria spread it can infect others and cause infections in other parts of the body. If the infection gets into the blood or heart or develops into MRSA, it can become life threatening.
Prevention and promptly treating cellulitis will keep the infection minor.
Cellulitis is an infection that generally can be prevented with good personal hygiene. When left untreated it can spread to lymph nodes and throughout the body. When the bacteria get in the blood it is known a sepsis and the infection can become life threatening. Careful monitoring of skin breaks is important to diagnose and treat cellulitis promptly.