Also Known As: Cellulitis, Skin infection

Cellulitis is a diffuse inflammation of connective tissue with severe inflammation of dermal and subcutaneous layers of the skin. Cellulitis can be caused by normal skin flora or by exogenous bacteria, and often occurs where the skin has previously been broken: cracks in the skin, cuts, blisters, burns, insect bites, surgical wounds, intravenous drug injection or sites of intravenous catheter insertion. Skin on the face or lower legs is most commonly affected by this infection, though cellulitis can occur on any part of the body. The mainstay of therapy remains treatment with appropriate antibiotics, and recovery periods last from 48 hours to six months.

Erysipelas is the term used for a more superficial infection of the dermis and upper subcutaneous layer that presents clinically with a well-defined edge. Erysipelas and cellulitis often coexist, so it is often difficult to make a distinction between the two.

In Ludwig's angina, an acute and potentially life threatening condition, cellulitis occurs within the submandibular space.

Cellulitis is unrelated (except etymologically) to cellulite, a cosmetic condition featuring dimpling of the skin.

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