Cellulitis: When to seek medical advice?
Cellulitis is a common type of skin infection caused by bacteria. In most cases, it responds well to treatment, but the infection can spread to blood and other parts of the body.
Consult your doctor if:
You have any sign or symptom suggestive of cellulitis such as redness, pain or tenderness, warm skin and swelling of skin anywhere in the body. In cellulitis, the skin sore or rash may start suddenly and grow rapidly. Infection from skin can spread to blood and other parts of the body. Risk of rapid spread of infection is more likely in people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, certain cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma), HIV or AIDS or who are on chemotherapy.
Consult your doctor immediately if:
- you develop high fever (380C or 100.40F or above) with chills or shaking,
- you feel tired or have a general ill feeling (malaise).
- you have generalised muscle aches and pains,
- you have recurrent vomiting with or without nausea,
- there is change in appearance or colour of the affected skin or the infection appears to be spreading rapidly,
- you have high temperature (fever) of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above,
- you have changes in mental state such as confusion,
- there is change in breathing such as rapid breathing , shortness of breath,
- your heart rate becomes rapid and
- you have dizziness, particularly when you sit or stand after lying down.
There are some symptoms that indicate that the infection has spread from your skin to other parts of your body such as your blood. If you have one or more of the above mentioned symptoms, consult your doctor immediately or the visit emergency (A&E) department as soon as possible. The above symptoms suggest that you may need urgent medical attention.
Who to consult
Some health professionals, who can be consulted for cellulitis include:
- family doctor,
- nurse practitioner, a nurse who has been through advanced training,
- physician assistant (a health professional who practices medicine under a doctor's supervision) and
Source: Expert Content Aug 27, 2012
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