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What is cellulitis?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

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.

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.)
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. 

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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.