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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 hand 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.
Hand Cellulitis 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.