How to Diagnose Cellulitis , Erysipelas and Impetigo
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin that can be difficult to diagnose. The most important thing to remember is that cellulitis is a serious infection that needs prompt treatment with antibiotics. If you think you may have cellulitis, see your doctor right away.
Erysipelas is a type of superficial cellulitis that affects the upper layers of the skin. It is often characterized by a bright red rash that spreads quickly. Like cellulitis, erysipelas is also caused by bacteria and requires treatment with antibiotics.
Impetigo is a less serious skin infection that is also caused by bacteria. It usually affects children and is characterized by sores or blisters on the skin. Impetigo is usually not as serious as cellulitis or erysipelas and can often be treated with over-the-counter antibiotics.
If you think you may have cellulitis, erysipelas, or impetigo, see your doctor right away for proper diagnosis and treatment. Early treatment is important to prevent the infection from spreading and becoming more serious.
What are the causes of cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo?
Cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo are all caused by bacteria. Cellulitis and erysipelas are usually caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria. Impetigo is usually caused by staphylococcus bacteria.
These infections can occur when the skin is broken, allowing bacteria to enter. This can happen due to a cut, scrape, insect bite, or other wound. The risk of developing these infections is also increased if you have eczema or other skin conditions that cause breaks in the skin.
Who is at risk for cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo?
Anyone can develop cellulitis, erysipelas, or impetigo. However, certain people are at increased risk. These include:
-People with diabetes or other conditions that cause poor circulation
-People with a weakened immune system
-People who have had recent surgery
-People who have been in the hospital for a long time
-People who use intravenous drugs
-Children and infants
How are cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo diagnosed?
Your doctor will likely suspect cellulitis, erysipelas, or impetigo based on your symptoms. They will also ask about your medical history and do a physical exam. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may order a skin culture. This involves taking a sample of the affected area and sending it to a lab for testing.
Your doctor may also order blood tests or other tests to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, such as Lyme disease or shingles.
How are cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo treated?
Cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo are all treated with antibiotics. Cellulitis and erysipelas usually require treatment with oral or intravenous antibiotics. Impetigo can often be treated with over-the-counter antibiotics.
If you have cellulitis or erysipelas, it is important to finish all of your antibiotics even if you start to feel better. This helps to prevent the infection from coming back.
Complications of cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo
Cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo can all lead to serious complications if they are not treated promptly. Cellulitis can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream, causing a potentially life-threatening infection. Erysipelas can also spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream. Impetigo can lead to secondary skin infections.
When should I see a doctor?
See your doctor right away if you think you may have cellulitis, erysipelas, or impetigo. These conditions require prompt treatment with antibiotics to prevent serious complications.
How can I prevent cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo?
You can help to prevent cellulitis, erysipelas, and impetigo by taking care of your skin. This includes:
-Keeping your skin clean and dry
-Using sunscreen when outdoors
-Wearing protective clothing when outdoors
-Avoiding contact with people who have these infections
-Treating cuts, scrapes, and other wounds promptly
-Avoiding sharing towels, washcloths, or other personal items
-If you have eczema, following your treatment plan to keep your skin healthy