What Is the Link Between Diabetes and Cellulitis?


Quick Answer

People with uncontrolled diabetes are more susceptible to cellulitis, according to Medical News Today. When diabetes is not properly treated, the patient's immune system weakens, and circulatory problems may develop. This can lead to skin ulcers and the rapid spread of bacterial growth in the infected tissue. People with diabetes may get sicker from cellulitis. They also have a tendency to get repeat cases, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

Cellulitis, which is a common skin infection, occurs when bacteria spread into the tissues beneath the skin. It can occur anywhere on the body, but in adults, it happens most frequently on the face, arms and legs, reports WebMD.

Early symptoms include soreness and swelling in the infected area, and chills and fever may occur if the infection spreads. Cellulitis is treated with antibiotics to reduce symptoms and control the infection, and mild cases generally respond to antibiotic pills. With treatment, most cases heal within a few days to a few weeks, but cellulitis can develop into a more severe infection that becomes septic and affects the entire body, as WebMD explains.

Cellulitis is caused generally by streptococci or staphylococci bacteria, which exist harmlessly on the skin's surface but can cause damage once they are below the surface. Any break in the skin, whether from an insect bite, tattoo or cut, allows the bacteria to penetrate deeper into the body. A medical condition that results in skin breakdown, such as eczema or athlete's foot, can also provide an entry point, according to Medical News Today.

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