Cellulitis is a skin infection, usually caused by Streptococcus or Staphylococcus
bacteria. Cellulitis usually develops after a break in the skin from a scrape,
cut, bite, or puncture, or after a rash.
A doctor should evaluate symptoms that can occur with
cellulitis, which may include:
Painful, red, hot, swollen skin that may crack,
split, or weep fluid.
Red streaks extending from the red area
toward the body (lymphangitis).
Drainage of pus.
General feeling of illness (malaise).
Facial cellulitis in children requires immediate medical attention
to prevent potentially dangerous eye or brain infection. Cellulitis usually is
treated with antibiotics, rest and elevation of the affected area, and warm
compresses. Cellulitis may be more severe and require a hospital stay for people
who have decreased blood flow (venous stasis), long-term swelling, diabetes, or
an impaired immune system.
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.