Red, swollen skin that is warm to the touch. You might not have heard of cellulitis until you started experiencing symptoms. Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection with over 14 million cases in the United States annually. Here’s what to look for.
Red, swollen skin that is warm to the touch. You might not have heard of cellulitis until you started experiencing these symptoms.
Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection with more than 14 million cases in the United States annually. While cellulitis is curable, it’s essential to get treatment as soon as possible to avoid spreading it to other areas of your body and provoking more severe health risks.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy uses your blood to improve skin conditions like cellulitis and any scarring that might occur from it. However, the first point of action is confirming you have cellulitis. Sometimes it’s hard to tell cellulitis apart from other skin problems — but we’re here to help.
Southern Secrets Medical Spa, located in Conroe, Texas, is here to share the telltale signs of cellulitis and what’s involved with treatment.
Red, swollen area of skin
Your skin is the largest organ of your body and is vulnerable to many skin conditions, including cellulitis. One of the most distinguishing signs of cellulitis is a red, swollen area of skin. It can occur anywhere on the body but most often appears on the legs and face.
Cellulitis happens when bacteria enter the body from a break or crack in the skin. The redness of cellulitis may appear like a spreading rash and is often swollen or puffy. This can cause the skin to feel tight and stretched and warmer than the surrounding areas.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a safe and natural way to help improve skin healing affected by cellulitis to minimize pain and discomfort. The secret of PRP lies in your blood.
When you come in for your PRP appointment, Andrew Martin, FNP-C goes over what’s involved and answers any questions you have. PRP is a three-step treatment that includes:
- Drawing a blood sample from your arm
- Placing the sample on a centrifuge and separating your blood’s layers (the PRP sample is created using only plasma and platelets)
- Injecting the PRP into the affected area of skin to promote healing
PRP effectively improves the healing of skin and wounds by improving inflammation and stabilizing the arrangement of collagen.
Tender to the touch
Cellulitis is usually caused by the bacteria streptococcus and staphylococcus. Bacteria can more easily enter the skin through broken, dry, and swollen skin often from cuts, punctures, ulcers, and/or athlete’s foot.
When these bacteria enter through the skin, they become tender to the touch and sometimes painful. Most cases of cellulitis require antibiotics to clear up the infection. For most people, cellulitis goes away 7-10 days after starting antibiotic treatment.
To help minimize pain and speed up your recovery, you can take at-home measures like:
- Taking ibuprofen
- Raising the affected body part on a pillow or chair to reduce swelling
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Keeping skin clean and moisturized
- Regularly moving the area by your joint
If cellulitis is left untreated, it can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream and potentially become deadly. You cannot catch cellulitis from another person because it affects the middle layer of skin, called the dermis, and the layers below.
Orange peel-like texture
Some people with cellulitis may notice the affected skin has an orange peel-like texture. Also known as peau d’orange, this characteristic happens when the underlying fat sticks out through diminished connective tissues.
Cellulitis affects people of all ages and races, but you may be at increased risk if you have:
- Had cellulitis previously
- Fissuring of toes or heels
- Venous disease
- Had current or prior injury, surgical wounds, radiotherapy or drug use
- Immunosuppressive medications
- Chronic kidney disease
Doctors can usually diagnose cellulitis just by looking at your skin. They may monitor the infection for a few days to see if it spreads, or they may take a blood or wound sample to test for bacteria.
Extreme cases of cellulitis can cause skin blistering. Sometimes this is accompanied by fever or chills. You must seek medical help right away if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.
Severe cases of cellulitis may require intravenous antibiotics, oxygen, and fluids. Most of the time, blisters will go away with treatment, but in severe cases, they may leave scars.
PRP therapy is a great option to improve the appearance of these scars. It works by increasing the amount of growth factors in damaged tissues.
In fact, PRP has up to 10 times the amount of growth factors as normal blood, and contains higher levels of collagen and elastin. These two components help in the formation of new, healthy skin cells and can minimize the appearance of scars.
Most patients need 3-6 treatments spaced about a month apart. PRP results are not immediate, but most people notice an improvement in their skin around 4-6 weeks. Your results continue to improve over 6-12 months and can last for years before needing a touch-up appointment.
Cellulitis is a common yet serious condition. If you’re experiencing one of the telltale signs or something else, seek medical attention right away. Call 832-263-1300 to schedule your appointment with us or book online.