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What are the initial symptoms of cellulitis?

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Quick Answer

Initial symptoms of cellulitis vary based on the patient's health condition but commonly include expanding red areas of the skin, pain, fever, swelling and tenderness, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients may also develop red spots and blisters on the skin in addition to skin dimpling. Pain is common when suffering from cellulitis.

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Full Answer

Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that begins with red and swollen areas of the skin in one area that spread to other parts of the body, explains Mayo Clinic. The condition is potentially serious, but it is not usually contagious. The most common area of the body cellulitis affects is the lower legs, but red spots and blisters can also appear on the face and other areas of the body.

The condition typically affects only the skin's surface, but it is possible for cellulitis to travel to tissues underlying the skin, ultimately spreading into the bloodstream and lymph nodes, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients require immediate treatment to eliminate the bacterial infection that can cause serious health problems.

Treatment for cellulitis includes oral antibiotics to reduce the amount of bacteria infecting the body, explains Mayo Clinic. With prompt treatment, most cases of cellulitis heal within a few days. Serious cases may require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.

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