Cellulitis: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Cellulitis?

Cellulitis is an infection of the deep layer of skin (dermis) and the layer of fat and tissues just under the skin (the subcutaneous tissues). It is a spreading infection that usually begins as a small area of tenderness, swelling, and redness on the skin.
Skin on lower legs is most commonly affected, though cellulitis can occur anywhere on your body or face.

Recovery Time

Cellulitis usually goes away after taking antibiotics for 7 to 10 days. Longer treatment may be needed if cellulitis is more severe. This may occur if you have a chronic diseases or your immune system is not working properly.
People with fungal infections of the feet may have cellulitis that keeps coming back. 


The diagnosis of cellulitis is based on the clinical features. If any pustules, crusts or erosions are present, a swab is taken for culture. A complete blood count is likely to show leukocytosis (raised white cell count). Blood cultures may be of use if a patient has a high fever or is otherwise very unwell.

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