Before learning what causes cellulitis of the legs, then you need to find the answer of “What is cellulits?” Cellulitis and cellulite are considered as two different things. In fact, cellulitis is the bacterial infection of the deep layer of the human skin – the dermis – and the subcutaneous tissues which are under the skin. Cellulitis might initially appear as a swollen, red area which feels tender and hot when touching. The swelling and redness usually spread quickly. Normally, cellulitis is often painful.
The majority of cellulitis cases, that skin covering the lower legs is impacted, despite the infection could happen any place on the face or body. Cellulitis often impacts the surface of the skin, yet it might also impact the underlying tissues of the skin and spread to the lymph nodes as well as bloodstream. If left untreated, this infection could become life-threatening.
What Causes Cellulitis?
When it comes to causes of cellulitis, the most common bacteria causing cellulitis are streptococci or staphylococci groups, which get under the human skin and lead to infection. These groups of bacteria are popularly found on the skin surface and are often not harmful, yet if they get under the skin, they could. It is estimated that 50-60% of the cases, the skin injuries like insect bites, cuts, or surgical incisions are the common causes of the infection. Some certain factors also promote the odds of developing cellulitis. Those factors contain:
- Skin conditions that could break the skin, like athlete’s foot, and eczema
- Weakened immune system
- History of cellulitis
- Intravenous use of drug
The bacteria might also get into by some other route, like via the lymphatic system and blood. This is most likely if no potential entry route could be identified on the sufferer’s skin.
Who Is At Risk Most?
There, you have known some important information about what causes cellulitis. Now, you may wonder who is at risk most. Here they are:
- Obese people: Obese people tend to be more likely to have swelling in the legs. This increases the risk of developing cellulites.
- Those with a weakened immune system like people undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or those with HIV/AIDS, and elderly people.
- Diabetic sufferers: if the diabetes is not appropriately treated or controlled the sufferers’ immune system will be weaker, they will have circulatory issues which could result in skin ulcers. The poor condition of blood glucose levels will let bacteria develop faster in the infected tissue and facilitates quick progression if the infection breaks through the bloodstream.
- Those with blood circulation problems: If an individual suffers from poor circulation, he or she might be more likely to develop skin infections as the blood supply is not good for defeating infections.
- Those with shingles and chickenpox: shingles and chickenpox result in skin blisters. If those blisters break, they become ideal routes for the bacteria to break into the skin.
- People with lymphodema: these people tend to own swollen skin that is more likely to break. The cracks of the human skin will become an ideal environment for the bacteria.
- Those with cellulitis in the past: anyone who has had cellulitis tends to have a higher risk of suffering from it in comparison with others.
- Those injecting illegal drugs: those drug addicts, particularly who do not have access to a regular supply of good hygiene needles tend to be more likely suffer from skin infections.
- Those living in areas with dense population: there is a higher risk of cellulitis among those sharing common living quarters like homeless shelters, military installations, and school or college dormitories.