What are the Most Common Types of Cellulitis?

What are the most common types of cellulitis

Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria. It can occur anywhere on the body. Thus, there are many types of cellulitis, and the symptoms, as well as the prognosis of the condition, will often depend on the specific location of this infection. This can also affect the therapeutic options and the routes of administration of the treatment.

The treatment consists mainly of antibiotic administration to eradicate the infection. However, depending on the associated symptoms, it may be combined with other medications that will help speed up the healing of the patient.

In this article, we detail the most common types of cellulitis.

If you have any symptoms of infection, it is vital to seek fast medical attention.


Hand Cellulitis

The hands and arms are common places for cellulitis. Manual workers, in particular, present a higher risk for hand cellulitis. They are more likely to injure their hands while working and this will expose their skin to the penetration by bacteria.

Hand cellulitis will manifest as an area of swelling and redness accompanied by tenderness of the affected skin.

Using appropriate protection such as wearing gloves in the workplace, and following basic rules for wound care are the best ways to prevent hand cellulitis.


Periorbital Cellulitis

Another common type of cellulitis involves the area around the eyes. This is more common in children. Trauma to the eyelid can increase the chances of infection. Thus, all cuts in the eye area need urgent treatment. This includes cleaning the area in a proper manner.

Prevention of this type of cellulitis is easy to achieve. It requires encouraging good personal hygiene habits.

It is vital to teach children not to touch their eyes or to scratch their eyes. Furthermore, you should inspect their eyes for any signs of infection or damage.


Facial Cellulitis

The face is another region of the body that can be exposed to injuries, including temperature changes, and infections, on a daily basis. A slight cut can quickly lead to infection if not properly treated.

The most common symptoms of facial cellulitis are swelling and redness. Also, the area can feel warm to the touch. Scratching is a major risk factor for this type of cellulitis.

Individuals with skin conditions affecting the face such as acne, psoriasis and eczema are more prone to developing this infection.

An infected pimple that has been squeezed can lead to facial cellulitis. Prevention requires clearing up any facial wounds; avoiding to scratch, squeeze blackheads, and touch your face unnecessarily, are also very useful measures.


Leg Cellulitis

Another common type of infection is leg cellulitis. The main causes are skin conditions and/or injury. Additionally, patients with poor blood and venous circulation and particularly diabetics, can be prone to develop an infection in this location. An itchy rash in the leg can be an early sign of cellulitis.

The treatment will consist in the use of appropriate antibiotics combined to measures aimed at improving lymphatic and venous circulation. The individual will be advised to elevate the leg while sitting of lying in bed to reduce the swelling.


Nasal Cellulitis

The nasal area is particularly susceptible to cellulitis. The main cause is a break in the skin around the nasal area. Frequent nose blowing can cause a break in the skin and result in infection.

The symptoms of nasal cellulitis can mimic a cold. So, it is crucial to be able to tell the difference. Painful swelling around the nasal area requires fast medical attention.

While any part of your skin can be prone to infection, it is important to understand that the manifestations and risk of complications of the infection may vary with the specific location. So it is recommended to seek urgent medical help if you have any sign of skin infection.

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Last article update: 10/13/2019

Medically reviewed by Dr. Thouria Bensaoula on Oct 08, 2019.