What are cellulitis symptoms?
The signs of cellulitis are those of any inflammation; redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. Any skin wound or ulcer that exhibits these signs may be developing cellulitis. Other forms of noninfected inflammation may mimic cellulitis. People with poor leg circulation, for instance, often develop scaly redness on the shins and ankles; this is called "stasis dermatitis" and
is often mistaken for the bacterial infection of cellulitis.
An area of the skin with cellulitis looks inflamed. There is usually swelling of some sort that is red in colour, feels warm, and is painful. This inflamed patch can rapidly grow within the first 24 hours. Cellulitis may appear on a part of the skin where there has been some sort of a trauma or injury, such as an animal bite
In cellulitis, the skin becomes red and swollen and is both warm and painful to the touch and is sometimes accompanied by fever, malaise, chills, and headache. If antibiotics are not given, the condition may progress to abscesses (pockets of pus) and tissue damage. Erysipelas is a superficial form of cellulitis characterized by redness, swelling, vesicles, fever, and pain. It is caused by a species of streptococci, which usually starts with a headache, fever, and general distress, followed by small, red patches that spread and swell so that the border may be easy to see and feel.
In cellulitis, the affected area of skin feels warm and usually is red, swollen and painful. The redness can be vague or can stand out compared to surrounding skin. The area of warmth can be felt with the back of the hand, especially when compared to surrounding skin. There may be a spreading network of red streaks in the skin, caused by infection in the vessels that carry lymph (tissue fluid), as well as enlarged lymph nodes (swollen glands) near the area of infection.
Fever and malaise (a generally sick feeling) often accompany cellulitis. Severe infections can cause low blood pressure if bacteria get into the bloodstream. Bloodstream infections (blood poisoning) from cellulitis are particularly dangerous in the very young and very old, as well as in those with weakened immune systems or abnormal heart valves.