Q:

How does cellulitis spread to family members?

A:

Quick Answer

Cellulitis is not directly contagious between family members, explains MedicineNet.com. It is an infection of the deep layers of the skin and fatty tissue, usually caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria. While cellulitis isn't contagious, the bacteria that cause it easily spread from person to person.

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Signs and symptoms of cellulitis include redness, swelling and warmth of the affected area; pain and tenderness; the leaking of pus or fluid from a wound; and red streaking from a wound, according to WebMD. A more serious systemic infection may cause high fever with chills, nausea, vomiting, enlargement and hardening of the reddened area, and increased pain. Immediate medical care is necessary if these serious symptoms develop.

Cellulitis is treated with antibiotics, notes Healthline. Oral antibiotics are usually sufficient to treat the infection. However, hospitalization and treatment with intravenous antibiotics are necessary in cases of a severe infection that isn't improved by oral antibiotics. Hospitalization also may be indicated if the person has a high temperature, a compromised immune system or high blood pressure.

Risk factors for cellulitis include skin trauma, poor circulation, a history of diabetes or liver disease, or a history of skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis that cause breaks in the skin, according to WebMD. A past history of cellulitis and a weakened immune system also increase the risk of cellulitis, adds Healthline.

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