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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures

Cellulitis

Introduction

Cellulitis is a potentially serious bacterial infection of your skin. Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender, and it may spread rapidly.

Skin on the face or lower legs is most commonly affected by this infection, though cellulitis can occur on any part of your body. Cellulitis may be superficial - affecting only the surface of your skin - but cellulitis may also affect the tissues underlying your skin and can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream.

Left untreated, the spreading bacterial infection may rapidly turn into a life-threatening condition. That's why it's important to recognize the signs and symptoms of cellulitis and to seek immediate medical attention if they occur.