Cellulitis is a common but potentially serious skin infection of the deeper layers of the skin and the subcutaneous tissues. It is most often caused by staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria, but can also be caused by other types of bacteria.
It occurs in areas where the skin has broken open, such as a cut, scrape, insect bite, ulcer, burn, surgical wound or where skin is breaking down from conditions like eczema, psoriasis or a fungal infection.
Generally, bacteria are present on the skin, but they do not cause harm unless they are able to go deep into the skin. Breaks in skin allow the bacteria to get under the skin and cause infection.
Factors like a weakened immune system, chicken pox or shingles, diabetes, obesity, blood circulation problems, lymphedema, drug misuse and a history of cellulitis increase the risk of developing this problem.
Although the infection mostly occurs on the lower legs, it may occur anywhere on your body. The affected area usually looks red and swollen, and feels hot, tender and painful.
Most cases of cellulitis are mild and tend to resolve within several days or a few weeks, but at times, it may progress to a more serious infection or other dangerous problems. In fact, if left untreated, it can be potentially fatal.
So, do consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment, especially if the infection is severe, does not get better within a few days, or if you have other medical problems.
Anecdotally, I was once asked to consult on a skin hypersensitivity case whereas a women made contact with caustic plant material on her inner thigh; she developed blisters almost immediately and unwittingly spread the caustic substance to her opposite inner thigh; the total area of skin infection was approximately 25″ square. Blisters emerged and became infected within 24 hours and signs of cellulitis began to present only hours before the passing on one day when I saw the patient. Suspicions of the rapid deterioration exhibiting signs of a septicemic prodrome (initial indication of a systemic, body-wide infection of the blood) were considered and I arranged her medical evacuation from the Amazon (where she was immuno-naive to common microbes for which she had no resistance) to arrive at Level I, US hospital medical care ASAP; she arrived approximately 24 hours later. I was in transit and only carrying a small, personal, travel medical kit from which I provided ciprofloxin, 500mg, twice daily. While on cipro antibiotic therapy, she arrived to Level I, US hospital care in a life-threatening state of borderline septic shock; additional IV antibiotic therapy and copious fluid administration was administered STAT. She was said to have not survived the journey without an initial antibiotic therapy which delayed infectious dissemination throughout her body.
Internally, high-dose Garlic and Oregano oil should augment Echinacea and Goldenseal, vitamin C, etc. However, a poultice of oregano oil, Tea Tree Oil & fresh Garlic paste and a small amount of Coconut oil to assist with skin penetration are best when used externally with internal immune boosting supplements. Nonetheless, do not forego conventional medical care or wait for organic, natural remedies to defeat this disease, especially to when cellulitis involves joints, lymph nodes and spreads rapidly.