The symptoms of cellulitis are skin that is red, swollen, warm or tender. You may also experience fever, chills or fatigue. At times people also have leaking of clear fluid or pus in the swollen area. If any of these symptoms occur, call your doctor to develop a plan of attack.
Lymphedema: Lymphedema is swelling due to a damaged lymphatic system. The swollen and stretched skin can crack and the protein rich fluid allows for bacterial growth.
Impaired immune system: People who have an impaired immune system are more vulnerable to contracting infections in general. These include people who are undergoing chemotherapy or who take corticosteroids.
Chronic illnesses: Illnesses like diabetes can increase your risk of developing infections. People with diabetes are particularly susceptible to getting sores on their feet and lower legs, which can become infected.
Skin conditions or disorders: Skin conditions and disorders can cause breaks in the skin. These include eczema, shingles, even so-called childhood illnesses like chicken pox.
Obesity: People who are obese have a higher risk of having cellulitis and of getting it again.
History of cellulitis: If you’ve had cellulitis before, you do have a higher risk of getting it again.
Keep feet clean and dry, including regular washing of feet and changing socks.
Keep feet moisturized to avoid cracking
Examine skin of feet and legs for any open sores, cuts or scrapes and monitor them for signs of infection.
Use antibiotic cream on open skin and keep injuries covered with bandaid if possible.
Keep your nails well-manicured. When cutting your fingernails and toenails, you want to take care not to injure the surrounding skin
When getting blood drawn, take from a body part that has not had cellulitis
Treat infections promptly.
Avoid injuring your skin.
Treat lymphedema Of all the medical conditions that increase your risk of getting cellulitis again, lymphedema ranks highest. Lose weight. Research shows that if you are overweight or obese and lose weight, you reduce your risk of getting cellulitis again.
Stop smoking. While more research is needed to know whether smoking increases your risk of getting cellulitis again, research suggests it might.
Cellulitis causes swelling and swelling in itself can cause problems…
Shoes do not fit. Not having proper footwear can lead to a multitude of issues such as inability to exercise, slips and falls, and risk for additional skin injuries.
Also, skin is vulnerable to more cracks and scrapes when it is swollen. This is due to the lack of flexibility of the skin. When there are open areas on the skin, the chance for bacteria to enter the body increases and the chance for cellulitis increases.
Swelling can make moving difficult. If the swelling in the lower leg, it can become nearly impossible to pull your feet underneath your knees far enough to allow the body to stand. Swelling can make walking difficult due to the weight of the limb
Ultimately, and maybe most importantly cellulitis like many illnesses has a mental aspect to it. Things like no shoes that fit, trouble standing up, leaking fluid all make it hard to lead an active lifestyle. Anytime, you have to give up things because of an illness, you can feel down and depressed. That is why it is so important to recognize cellulitis and fight hard to keep it from returning. LIfe is worth it.