Why Is Diabetes Cellulitis Considered Dangerous?

Diabetic cellulitis is considered dangerous because it sometimes leads to death or amputation of the feet, toes or legs, according to American Family Physician. The most-common bacterial infections in diabetic cellulitis come from the Staphylococcus aureus and streptococci bacteria.

Cellulitis can be mild in diabetic patients, but if it is severe and recurring, it probably involves more than one type of bacteria, according to American Family Physician.

Cellulitis itself does not just occur in diabetic patients, and is in fact fairly common, says MedicineNet. However, this infection can not only involve the skin, but penetrate into deeper tissues. In cases of severe diabetic cellulitis, it can even affect the bone, claims American Family Physician.

Diabetic cellulitis is treated by addressing the wound and starting the patient on a course of antibiotics, states American Family Physician. Treating the wound may mean debridement, a procedure which entails removing dead or infected tissue. The complications of the patient’s diabetes, such as hyperglycemia and blood vessel problems, also need to be treated to make sure the cellulitis does not return. Antibiotic therapy lasts about a month if the infection is in the soft tissues and from a month and a half to three months if the infection has reached the bone. Drugs such as clindamycin are taken orally for mild infections, while drugs such as clindamycin and ciprofloxacin are taken intravenously for more-severe infections.