What Are 5 Most Common Types of Cellulitis?

What Are 5 Most Common Types of Cellulitis?


Cellulitis is an infection caused by bacteria. It can occur virtually anywhere on the body, but it commonly affects the face and extremities. Cellulitis can affect men, women and children of all ages. Individuals with weakened immune systems may be at a higher risk of a this infection. There are five common forms of cellulitis, and each involves different body area..


Hand Cellulitis

This medical condition on arms is mainly caused by bacteria entering a break on the surface of the skin. The bacteria can grow underneath the skin and spread to deeper tissues, lymph nodes or the blood stream. A physician tests for arm cellulitis by taking a blood culture and performing a complete blood count. If there is fluid near the affected area, a culture may be taken from that as well.

Main combination of symptoms for hand cellulitis medical condition include arm tenderness, pain, swelling or redness. The skin may feel warm, and a rash may develop. Severe symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, confusion, weakness, headache and swollen lymph glands. Treatments vary according to the severity of the infection, however, most physicians prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers. Elevating the affected area and using warm compresses can provide relief as well.


Leg Cellulitis

Similar to arm cellulitis, an infection of the legs occurs from bacteria permeating the skin surface. Leg cellulitis symptoms include pain, tenderness, inflammation or excessive warmth in the affected area. Severe symptoms are similar to those resulting from arm cellulitis. Some people also experience rapid heart rate, stiff joints or muscle aches. Lymph glands in the groin may be swollen as well. Treatment includes antibiotics, pain relievers, warm compresses and leg elevation.


digital illustration of skin


Facial Cellulitis

People with compromised lymphatic systems, upper respiratory infections or tooth infections are at risk for facial cellulitis. Symptoms include pain, swelling, redness and tenderness of the face, lips or tongue. The affected person may experience body aches, chills, vomiting or fever as well. The facial skin may also be tight and feel warm to the touch.

Facial infections may be treated with oral antibiotics, but more severe cases may require intravenous methods. A physician may also assess the cause of the facial cellulitis in order to prevent recurrence. Facial cellulitis typically diminishes one week after the onset of treatment, however, more serious forms may last longer.