Red streaks on the skin may indicate cellulitis, which is a common skin infection or infection of the soft tissue under the skin, explains WebMD. Other symptoms of cellulitis include swelling, redness, pain and warmth.
There are a number of causes of cellulitis, including injuries that tear the skin, infections following surgery, or conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, claims WebMD. Foreign objects under the skin or bone infections may also cause cellulitis, especially if the bone experiences exposure to bacteria. Cellulitis treatment involves resting the area, elevating the area and using over-the-counter pain relievers. Some doctors may also prescribe antibiotics if the infection is moderate or severe.
There are some instances where a person must seek emergency treatment due to cellulitis, according to WebMD. If experiencing chills, fever, vomiting, nausea or extreme pain, it is best for patients to go to the emergency room. Other reasons to go to the emergency room include numbness around the area or if the red area begins to grow larger or harden. In severe cases, doctors may admit a patient to the hospital to administer intravenous antibiotics for a couple of days. If the antibiotics do not work, surgery is an option for treating cellulitis, though this is rare.