American Dermatology Association report shows that millions of people get cellulitis each year and they should treat it

Be mindful of your skin!

No, this is not a pitch to improve your appearance.

It relates to your health.

The skin serves as a protective barrier for the entire body. A needle prick, a paper cut, a scratch, a bee sting, and a thousand other injuries can result in cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin. Cellulitis, if left untreated, can result in grave complications, including death.

Okay, most infections are rather harmless. According to the American Dermatology Association, however, 14.5 million people in the United States contract cellulitis annually. And that is nothing to play around with.

Principal indications of cellulitis

The most common cellulitis symptoms are:

redness and enlargement
Pain close to the wound
Feeling warm to the touch
Fever and shivering

“The trouble is that numerous conditions exhibit the same common symptoms – redness, warmth, and swelling. Consequently, cellulitis can be difficult to detect, according to Jake Mefford, clinical director of OSF OnCall Urgent Care.

Poison ivy is a good illustration. Your skin breaks out and swells. You experience pain or, more precisely, an itchy sensation. But it’s only poison ivy. You are instructed not to scratch, yet you cannot resist the urge.

“Then you have opened the door to cellulitis,” Jake stated.

disinfect and bind wounds quickly

Therefore, it is essential to immediately treat any form of skin break.

“No matter what we do, our bodies are coated with both beneficial and harmful germs. “It’s easy to contract an infection,” Jake stated.

Typically, the wound can be cleaned with soap and water. Utilize an antimicrobial disinfectant. Apply a dressing to the wound. Then observe it closely.

When to seek urgent care

If redness, swelling, or pain worsen over the next twenty-four hours, seek medical attention immediately.

“If you’re 48 hours out and your redness is increasing, that’s a major red flag,” said Jake.

Additional symptoms may include blistering, bruising, headache, and crimson streaks emanating from the site.

And if your skin begins to appear black, or if you feel weakness or tingling in your arm, hand, foot, or leg, go to the nearest emergency department.

Jake stated, “Cellulitis must be evaluated as soon as possible rather than observed for possible progression.” “Unfortunately, we’ve had individuals with a wound that develops cellulitis on a Saturday decide to wait until Monday to visit a physician. Due to the delay, they end up in the emergency room on Sunday night.”

Don’t postpone therapy

Antibiotics can be utilized to treat cellulitis. However, the longer you wait to treat an infection, the more difficult it becomes to do so. Occasionally, hospitalization may be necessary.

“A superficial infection can rapidly become deeper and more severe. “If left untreated, you can grow septic and perhaps die,” Jake warned.

“When people die in such a manner, it is uncommon to hear that cellulitis was the reason. You are more likely to hear that an elderly diabetic with a foot wound had a systemic infection and died from sepsis. The cellulitis is omitted from the narrative, yet it was the cause.”

Guard against skin injuries

The majority of patients with cellulitis are middle-aged or older, obese, or diabetic. However, anyone can obtain it.

An opening can be created by athlete’s foot lesions or by cutting your fingernails too short. Likewise for chapped, dry skin.

You can take the following measures to prevent skin injuries that can lead to cellulitis:

Put on shoes to safeguard your feet.
Wear elbow and knee protectors when cycling, skating, and other similar activities to prevent scrapes in the event of a fall.
Replace wet socks with dry ones to keep your feet dry.
Apply lotion to your hands.

The most important thing to remember, though, is to immediately clean and bind a skin break. And if symptoms persist or worsen, urgent care should be sought.

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