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Is Cellulitis Contagious?

Is Cellulitis Contagious?

Many people wonder whether cellulitis is contagious or not. This article provides some information on the same that might prove beneficial.
Ujwal Deshmukh
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Cellulitis is a type of bacterial skin infection that affects the tissues present deep within the skin. This condition, often goes unnoticed at the initial stage, however, the after effects become quite noticeable when the damage to the skin increases. The skin on the face and lower legs are more prone to it. Bacteria that causes cellulitis infection, enters the body through cuts or burns and then rapidly spreads in the entire area. This infection further results in swollen and reddish appearance of the infected area.
Cellulitis infection is not contagious. This is because, it occurs deep within the skin and the top layer of the skin does not get affected. Therefore, there are no chances that if one comes in contact with a person having it then he/she may get affected by the same.
Causes
As mentioned above, bacteria is the most important cause for a cellulitis skin infection. However, it is not just one particular type of bacteria that causes it. The infection can be encountered by either of the following bacteria.
Staphylococcus Aureus
Staphylococcus aureus, which is commonly known as staph, is the most common bacteria that causes this infection. As a matter of fact, this bacteria is not only a common cause for this infection, but also the most difficult to treat, as it is resistant to most of the antibiotics.
Haemophilus Influenzae
More popularly known as H. flu, this bacteria is the most common reason for cellulitis infections in children below the age of 6 years. Infections due to this bacteria are mostly found on the arms, upper torso, and face.
Group A or B Streptococcus
Another leading cause for this condition is the group A or B Streptococcus. Infections caused by this bacteria are characterized by hot and bright red colored circles on the skin.
Pasteurella Multocida
If this infection occurs due to a cat or a dog bite, then the bacteria involved in it is Pasteurella multocida. Infection in this case, develops within a very short period of about 4-24 hours.
Symptoms
Mostly, this infection occurs at a certain area on either of the legs. The most common symptoms observed are tenderness of the affected area, sensation of pain, redness, and swelling. Cellulitis being an infection, affects people with a weak immune system and therefore the spread of this infection might result in disorders such as fever, chills, shivering, and nausea.
Treatment
Currently, antibiotics are the most widely used form of treatment for it. Antibiotics such as flucloxacillin, erythromycin, penicillin, and cefuroxime, are found to be effective in treating this infection. However, such an infection can be prevented by personal hygiene, proper skin care, and by fully covering one's body parts (except the face), if one happens to visit or work in areas that are home to either of the aforementioned bacteria types.
If left untreated, it can progress into a life-threatening condition. Also, one should be careful as this infection can occur anywhere and excessive spread might result in serious illness. So, it is necessary to follow the aforementioned preventive measures and consult a doctor for the appropriate treatment.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.