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What is cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infection that if goes untreated, can lead to serious health issues. A bacterial skin infection is when bacteria enters the body (usually through hair follicles or tears/cuts in the skin). A common cause for these infections such as cellulitis is following surgery (due to an open wound). Having some general knowledge on what to look for when it comes to cellulitis may help prevent getting it, or allow you to get early intervention so that it does not become serious.

Risk factors for bacterial infections

Below are some risk factors that increase the possibility of getting bacterial infections such as cellulitis. If you have some of the risk factors it does not mean that you will get a skin infection but it does put you at a higher risk. So if that is the case you should make sure to take extra precautions when it comes to good wound management (see below) and performing weekly skin checks.

  • ​Diabetes/poor blood flow (body has more difficulty fighting infections)

  • Recent history of hospitalization/living in nursing home

  • Elderly/older population

  • People who are undergoing chemotherapy

  • People who have a history of immune disorders or other immunodeficiency viruses

  • Skin that is inflamed or damaged (chronic skin conditions such as athletes foot)

  • Any break in the skin

  • Being overweight Injection drug use