Cellulitis Research Paper

1133 Words5 Pages
Cellulitis
What is cellulitis?
Cellulitis is the medical term for infection of the skin. It typically occurs when there is an opening in the skin such as a laceration or abrasion – allowing bacteria to enter and proliferate in skin tissue. Patients classically develop spreading redness, warmth, swelling, and pain in the involved region. They also often have fever. Some skin infections spread rapidly and invade the surrounding soft tissue and fascia. This may be life-threatening and typically occurs due to infection with “flesh eating” bacteria – a condition termed necrotizing fasciitis.
Due to the importance of this condition, it is critical that patients understand its causes, symptoms, and treatment. By the end of this article, you
…show more content…
What causes cellulitis?
Cellulitis is caused by bacterial infection of the skin. The microorganisms are usually of the gram positive variety such as staphylococcus and streptococcus species. These bacteria normally colonize our skin without causing infection – however, bacteria can enter tissue when there is an opening in the skin (eg, cut, scrape). The bacteria can then proliferate in the wound and spread into the surround skin – this causes the cardinal signs of inflammation – warmth (calor), redness (rubor), pain (dolor), and swelling (tumor).
Sometimes, aggressive strains of bacteria such as methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infect skin tissue – this often results in the formation of boils or abscesses. These are pockets in the skin and soft tissue that contain pus, dead tissue, and bacteria. Occasionally, bacteria such as Clostridium perfringens or Pseudomonas will be responsible for skin and soft tissue infection – especially in frequently hospitalized patients and those with diabetes mellitus.
Severe cases of cellulitis can be associated with gas gangrene and tissue necrosis – death of skin tissue. These cases often require intravenous antimicrobial therapy and surgical debridement of tissue. The patients are also often severely ill and require
…show more content…
Abscesses are characterized by fluctuance, a shiny appearance, and potentially drainage of pus from a sinus tract. These require surgical incision and drainage – in addition to antibiotic therapy. Another important consideration is whether or not you have had a tetanus vaccination in the past 10 years. Patients may benefit from tetanus revaccination and may require tetanus toxoid under certain circumstances.
How is cellulitis diagnosed?
The diagnosis of cellulitis is suggested based on symptoms and physical examination – typical findings include spreading redness, warmth, pain, swelling, and fever. If you have a sinus tract that is draining pus, your doctor may obtain a sample and send it for gram stain and culture. This is also typically performed when you have an abscess that requires incision and drainage. The purpose of gram stain and culture is to guide antimicrobial therapy. The laboratory will typically test bacterial growth against commonly prescribed antibiotics and determine resistance patterns. Bacterial cultures generally take at least 2 days to

More about Cellulitis Research Paper

Open Document