What is cellulitis?

If the skin around an abrasion on your elbow is inflamed, red, and warm, you may have cellulitis. This is an infection which is caused by bacteria that have invaded the deeper layer of skin through the abrasion. Signs of cellulitis include swelling, redness, warmth, and increased pain in the area.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Southern Utah University Athletic Training Education Program.)
Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria. You may feel increased warmth, redness, and pain over the area of infected skin. It tends to increase in size unless treated by antibiotics.
Piedmont Heart Institute

Cellulitis is an acute, spreading infection of the deep tissues of the skin and muscle that causes the skin to become warm and tender and may also cause fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and blisters.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

Daniel Kapp
Daniel Kapp on behalf of MDLIVE
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Cellulitis is an infection in the skin.  It is a response to an injury of the outer layer of the skin or epidermis. 

Cellulitis is a skin infection that can be relatively mild or very serious. It is caused by bacteria that enter the body through an opening in the outer layer of skin, most often in the legs. Symptoms include redness, swelling, heat, and soreness of the affected area.

Continue Learning about Cellulitis



Cellulitis is word used to describe a spreading, bacterial skin infection anywhere on the body, and usually results from germs or bacteria entering the skin from a cut, scrape, animal or insect bite. Symptoms for cellulitis includ...

e redness on or around the infected area, tenderness, increased warmth over the area, swelling, fever, muscle aches or chills. You can prevent cellulitis by making sure all cuts and scrapes are kept clean, and covered and treated with antibiotic creams.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.