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How To Recognize Hand Cellulitis?

 
Cellulitis is an infection of the connective tissue a result of a bacterial infection (usually through breaks in the skin , or a minor trauma). Hand cellulitis is characterized by redness, swelling, warmth and pain when touched.

This infection generally attacks all extremities of the human body and is ordinarily named as cellulitis of the extremities.

 

Common Symptoms and Signs

 They may be local or systematic. Local symptoms are: Glossy, tight appearance of the skin; tenderness; skin lesions (sudden onset, often with sharp borders, fast growth within the first 24 hrs); warmth over the redness area; fever and all other signs of inflammation like (chills, warm skin, shaking, sweating, muscle aches, fatigue, pains, ill).

Systematic symptoms ( can take place in other parts of the human body) are: Vomiting and nausea; joint stiffness as a result of swelling of the tissue over the joint; in some cases hair loss on the infected area.

 

Causes of Arm Cellulitis Infection

Cellulitis of the hand is an infection caused by bacteria. Human skin normally has many types of bacteria living on it, but the skin is an effective barrier that keeps these bacteria from entering and growing inside the body.

If here is a break on the skin, bacteria can enter the body and cause infection and inflammation. The most common cause of hand cellulitis  is bacteria called streptococcus, which is usually found on the skin and in the throat. Another cause of infection is staphylococcus which is found on human skin and the mouth and nose lining.

There is also bacteria heamophilus influenzae type B, extremly dangerous to children (under the age of three).

 

General Risk Factors

The most frequent risk factors for arm cellulitis are: Insect bites, animal bites; Trauma or injury resulting with a small break on the skin; diabetes or ischemic ulcers; a history of peripheral vascular disease; recent dental, cardiovascular, pulmonary or other procedures; the usage of imunosuppressive or corticosteroid medications.

 

Arm Cellulitis Diagnosis

 In order to diagnose cellulitis, a doctor will typically ask questions about your medical history, perform a physical examination ( find localized swelling), and order a blood test. A thorough investigation of the  infected area is the most reliable way to diagnose arm cellulitis. In case the arm is infected signs will be: warmth, pain, swell and redness.

The doctor will probably look for breaks in the skin tissue where bacteria may  have entered into the organic structure. If there is any indication of cellulitis infection doctor will order blood exam (CBC and blood culture) to confirm the diagnosis.

 

Treatment

Hand cellulitis treatment is targeted at healing the involved area and any underlying shapes that may increase the likelihood of a recurrence.

Treatment may require hospitalization ( if it’s serious enough to ask for intravenous drugs and close medical care). In other cases, orally administered antibiotics and frequent follow ups will suffice.

Controlling the infected area and complication and recurrence prevention is the goal of the treatment. Treatment with analgetics may be needed to control the pain and antibiotics are given to control inflammation. It helps to elevate  the infected area to minimize swelling, apply warm compresses and rest.

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Foot Cellulitis

 
Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by group A streptococcus or staphylococcus aureus bacteria, usually entering the body through a cut, sore, wound or insect bite. Cases of cellulitis that do not start with a break in the skin are sometimes seen in older adults, particularly those with diabetes or weakened immune systems.

Because untreated cellulitis can spread to the lymph nodes or blood if not treated by antibiotics, the infection has a fatal potential. Symptoms include redness of the affected area, swelling, pain and warmth. Fever, chills and swollen glands may appear as the infection worsens and spreads from the point of entry.

Often causing crippling discomfort, foot cellulitis is a common condition characterized by warmth, swelling, tenderness and redness in the affected area. Points of bacterial entry include cuts, scratches, ulcers, heel fissures, burns, surgical incisions or areas of skin damage caused by such conditions like athlete’s foot or eczema.

People with early cases of foot cellulitis may notice red spots or small boils that can burst and spread infection further. Red streaking leading away from the infected area is a common symptom and a sure sign that you need to head to the doctor as soon as possible. Ankles and shins may also become sore and reddened as infection spreads.

 

Similar Conditions

Foot cellulitis can appear as a secondary infection to several other skin conditions, including eczema, rash, insect bite or athlete’s foot. Because athlete’s foot in particular causes flaking, cracking and other breaks on the skin, it’s particularly important to treat it immediately with antifungals to prevent development of foot cellulitis.

Symptoms of foot cellulitis may also mimic those of a more serious condition called thrombophlebitis, which is caused by a blood clot in a vein and may require treatment with anticoagulants.

 

Prevention and Treatment

Foot cellulitis is normally treated by a variety of antibiotics given either orally or intravenously, and should be dealt with immediately and aggressively. However, often foot cellulitis can be avoided altogether by taking a few basic preventive steps. Wash any wound thoroughly with soap and water, apply topical antibiotic cream and cover with a bandage, replacing frequently.

If you notice any pain, redness or streaking, see your doctor immediately.

 

Other Common Foot Problems

Though mostly hidden away in shoes, our feet are our foundation and it’s important to take the best care possible of these vital extremities. Foot problems are many and varied, often caused by our shoes themselves, a damp, dark environment which can pinch, irritate and constrict the foot in ways that damage bone, skin or tendons.

Following are some of the most common foot maladies and treatments.

 

Athlete’s Foot

Fungal infections, including athlete’s foot, are commonplace because our feet spend so much time trapped in shoes where the warm, moist surroundings are a perfect breeding ground for fungal bacteria.

Symptoms of fungal foot infections are dry skin, blisters, itching, flaking, redness and peeling. Treatment should begin immediately, as waiting can make the condition more difficult to cure and may also lead to a return of the stubborn infection.

To avoid athlete’s foot and similar ailments, keep feet clean and dry, particularly between the toes, change socks or stockings often, and dust feet with foot powder after showering.

 

Warts

Painful and unsightly, warts are skin growths caused by viruses and have an unfortunate tendency to spread. Occasionally, over-the-counter medicine are effective in dissolving them, but more often a doctor will need to remove the wart with burning, freezing or surgery.

 

Bunions

Often hereditary, bunions develop when the joints of the big toe no longer align as they should and become swollen and tender, often making walking painful or difficult. A bunion will commonly appear as a conspicuous bump on the outside of the big toe area. For less severe cases, the discomfort of bunions may be alleviated by wearing shoes that are wide at the toe and instep, taping the foot or wearing special cushioning pads.

Orthotic devices, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections are some of the treatment options for people with foot bunions. In very severe cases, surgery may be needed to re-align the toe joint.

 

Spurs

Sometimes quite painful, spurs are calcium growths in the form of bony protrusions caused by muscle strain in the feet, and common causes are poorly fitting shoes, long periods of standing and being overweight.

Various shoe inserts including padded cups and supports are usually recommended for spurs, while other treatment options include anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise and cortisone injections. Surgery is usually a last resort.

Heel spurs develop from abnormal growths on the heel bone and are often associated with a painful inflammation of the foot’s connective tissue called plantar fasciitis.

 

Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are accumulations of thickened, hardened dead skin cells that develop from pressure and friction caused by shoes. Your doctor may recommend finding better fitting footwear or using special pad inserts. Over-the-counter remedies are made of acids that destroy the affected tissue.

However, though these annoying growths may seem easy to treat yourself, it’s advisable to see your doctor in case they are symptoms of a more complex underlying cause, such as diabetes or poor circulation. If less invasive treatments do not work, surgery is sometimes advisable.

 

Ingrown Toenails

A common affliction in big toes, ingrown toenails are caused when a piece of nail breaks the skin, causing growth to continue under the skin. A doctor can easily remove the bit of nail growing into the skin, allowing the toe to heal. The best way to avoiding ingrown toenails is by cutting the nail straight across and level with the tip of the toe.

Trusted Resources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8922818
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athletes_foot
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1237208-overview

Image credit: 123RF Photo Stock
 

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Breast Cellulitis

 
We have spoken a lot about cellulitis, and here we will focus on breast cellulitis. Breast cellulitis is an inflammation of the skin and any underlying tissue that occurs on the breast area. Continue

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Periorbital Cellulitis

 
Cellulitis is a condition which affects the skin tissue, an infection caused by various types of bacteria. Preseptal cellulitis, which is also known as periorbital cellulitis, occurs on or around the eyelid. This type of skin infection is usually characterized by inflammation, redness, warmth and varying degrees of pain. Adults may develop this condition, however, eyelid type of this medical condition is more common in children.

 

Signs and Symptoms

The signs are typically localized near the eyes. Systematic symptoms such as fever may be present as well. The most common local symptom is swelling and redness of the upper or lower eyelid. Other symptoms include mild to severe pain, eye discomfort and warmth on the skin’s surface. Some individuals may develop chemosis, which is swelling in the whites of the eyes. Conjunctivitis, or redness in the eye whites, may also result from periorbital cellulitis.

 

Causes

Periorbital cellulitis is often caused by a bacterial infection on the skin. Staphylococcus and streptococcus are the most common forms of bacteria that cause the condition in adults. In the past, the Haemophilus influenzae type B bacteria was the most common source of this medical skin condition in children. With the introduction of the Haemophilus influenzae vaccine, the risk of infection in children has decreased considerably.

 

Risk Factors and Potential Complications

Certain factors can increase the chances of bacteria developing. In some cases, an infection of the upper respiratory tract may result in periorbital cellulitis. Trauma to the eyelid may also trigger the condition. In certain instances, a spider or other insect bite can be a contributing factor as well. Generally, once the skin of the eyelid is broken, there is a chance of bacteria being developed in the soft tissues.

Typically, periorbital cellulitis is less severe than the infection in the orbital area. Serious complication are rare, however, some individuals may be more at risk than others. Common complications that can occur with this particular type of infection include loss of vision, meningitis and an abscess of the brain. These risks can be notably reduced with proper observation and prompt treatment.

 

Diagnosis

A medical exam is the first step in making an accurate diagnosis. The patient’s medical history and overall physical health are observed. Some physicians also take cultures of the fluid that drains from the eyes. Various blood tests verify the presence of bacteria as well.
A physician may also order an X-ray or CT scan for the patient. CT scans use computer technology to create detailed images of the entire body, including muscles and organs. This type of imaging can show the full extent of the bacterial infection.

 

Treatment

Periorbital cellulitis is typically managed through medication. Treatment depends on the person’s age, medical history, health and extent of the condition. Oral antibiotics may be given to adults, while intravenous medication may be administered to children.

Adults with severe symptoms may also take intravenous antibiotics. Anyone who is allergic to penicillin should speak with a medical practitioner before taking these antibiotics.

Trusted Web Resources
Wikipedia
Merck Manual
PubMed Health

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Perianal Cellulitis

Definition of Perianal Cellulitis

Cellulitis is an inflammation of the subcutaneous fat characterized by redness, swelling, pain and warmth. In this article we will speak about Perianal cellulitis. This type of  infection appears around the anal orifice and can be very unpleasant. This medical condition affects people of all ages, even children, and is more common in boys than girls.

Symptoms and Signs

Perianal cellulitis is characterized by red skin around the anus. Symptoms and also signs which indicate that you are dealing with perianal cellulitis are:

  • Blood in the stool,
  • Painful bowel movements ,
  • Scratching around the anus and
  • Tenderness.

Individuals with infection do not have body aches, fever, or fatigue attributed to other types of cellulitis. Some people may experience a sore throat prior to this medical condition.

Causes of Perianal Cellulitis

Inflammation in the perianal region connected with this type of infection is mostly caused by several types of bacteria. The most common one is group A Streptococcus bacteria. This bacteria is common on the skin and in the throat. Other types of bacteria which cause cellulitis is bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. The type of bacteria is not connected with whether you will get perianal or another kind of cellulitis.

Risk Factors

Human skin tissue is  protected from inflammation or infection in normal body conditions. But in case of an insect bite, a cut or any other injury several types of bacteria can find a way to get into the skin and spread deeper in  tissue, sometimes causing infection. Any breaks in the skin, surgical wounds , blisters, burns or insect bites should be protected until healed.
Other predisposing factors that can cause perianal cellulitis are: poor hygiene, hot and humid weather, abrasions, malnutrition, over- crowded living conditions, comorbid conditions, atopic dermatitis, dialysis etc.

Diagnosing

In case of perianal cellulitis, a doctor will begin the diagnosis by reviewing and asking a number of questions regarding your medical history. After that, physical exams and blood tests usually follow. The skin conditions are similar to other medical conditions, which makes it difficult to distinguish. Its manifestations are similar to psoriasis, yeast infection, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), pinworm contagion and child abuse. Prior to making a perianal diagnosis medical adviser will take all these circumstances into considerations.

Treatment

Certainly the best way to treat perianal cellulitis is to treat the affected area and at the same time the factors that would increase the probability of recurrence.
Doctors will prescribe antibiotics to treat infection, which can be given orally or topically (IV in serious case of infection). Topical antibiotics should provide relief. Medical researches has shown that up to 40 % of individuals who receive perianal cellulitis treatment will experience a recurrence. Consequently, doctors may prescribe a follow-up therapy for up to 18 months for people who continue to get perianal cellulitis. As you see, perianal cellulitis is not a mild condition and must be diagnosed in time, so be sure to get a professional opinion.