Does Cellulitis Itch? How to recognize a skin infection:
Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and soft tissue that lies immediately underneath the skin. Cellulitis causes redness, pain, swelling. Less frequently, cellulitis may itch or cause blisters to appear on the surface of the skin.
Cleaning and covering cuts, scrapes, and abrasions is basic first aid for minor injuries. These steps are intended to prevent infection. In otherwise healthy individuals, small skin breaks usually heal quickly, and no additional medical attention is required. However, some people experience swelling and pain in the area. These symptoms indicate that bacteria found a way in, causing a more serious condition: cellulitis. This occurs most often in patients who have other underlying medical issues.
Swelling and pain are the most common signs of infection, but they aren’t the only signals. Does cellulitis itch or burn? Is there yellow or clear fluid leaking from the wound? Do you see redness or red streaking in the area? All of these, whether alone or in combination, can be indications that cellulitis has developed. If so, it must be treated by a physician as soon as possible.
Who is at Risk for Cellulitis?
Anyone who has an injury to their skin is at risk for cellulitis. From an insect bite to a surgical incision, any opening in your skin creates an opportunity for bacteria to enter. However, people with certain chronic medical conditions are more likely to develop cellulitis than their otherwise healthy peers.
Does cellulitis itch? Sometimes – but often the itchiness comes first. Scratching itchy skin leads to skin breaks that become infected. For example, those with skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema have a greater chance of contracting cellulitis, because they often have tears in the skin. Likewise, those who are recovering from diseases that cause open sores on the skin, such as chicken pox, are more likely to develop cellulitis.
Patients with diabetes are at greater risk for cellulitis, particularly if the diabetes is not yet diagnosed or not well-managed. Excessive blood insulin levels lead to circulatory problems by damaging blood vessels. This increases susceptibility to infection. Itchiness and slow healing of skin injuries are two common symptoms of diabetes. Both increase the probability of a skin-related bacterial infection.
Liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis are also connected with cellulitis risk. Among other issues, liver disease has an impact on the body’s ability to properly circulate blood. People with liver disease are more susceptible to a variety of infections, including cellulitis, because their immune system is unable to fight bacteria that get into the body.
In short, two significant factors that increase the risk of cellulitis include issues with the circulatory system and conditions that make skin tears likely. If you have either or both of these conditions, it is critical to seek treatment from a specialist.
How Does Poor Circulation Cause Cellulitis?
The circulatory system is responsible for moving blood throughout your body. Your heart pumps blood to the lungs so it can pick up oxygen, then an intricate network of arteries carries the oxygenated blood to every cell. Veins manage the return trip, moving the deoxygenated blood back to the heart.
When disease disrupts this process, you are at risk for a variety of other conditions. For example, you may be less able to heal from injuries. Skin in areas that are affected by poor circulation tends to become itchy, dry, and discolored, increasing the chances that it will be damaged by normal daily activities.
What is Venous Stasis Dermatitis?
Vein disease such as Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a common underlying cause of circulatory dysfunctions. One of the most noticeable symptoms of CVI is discoloration of skin on the legs and ankles. This condition is called Venous Stasis Dermatitis. This issue typically begins with a bit of dryness and itchiness. If left untreated, the skin thickens and turns reddish brown.
Once Venous Stasis Dermatitis sets in, you are at an increased risk of cellulitis. Small cuts and nicks turn into larger wounds that heal very slowly – if at all. These are referred to as Venous Stasis Ulcers. Statis ulcers are particularly vulnerable to cellulitis, so treating your underlying vein disease is important for prevention. If you experience any symptoms of vein disease, see your vein doctor in NY or vein doctor in NJ right away.
What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Veins move deoxygenated blood back to the heart. This can be a challenge, because blood in the lower half of the body is traveling against the forces of gravity. A series of one-way valves ensure that blood goes in the right direction. When the valves become damaged through injury or disease, blood leaks backwards. Eventually, it pools in the lower half of the body, which causes excessive pressure in leg and ankle veins. The pressure damages vessel walls, resulting in varicose veins, Venous Stasis Dermatitis, and other problems. The underlying disease is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).
CVI affects more than 50 percent of Americans. Symptoms like varicose veins, spider veins, leg cramps, and restless leg syndrome may signal CVI, but many primary care physicians treat these conditions without looking for the underlying cause. As a result, vein disease often goes undiagnosed. A vein doctor in New York or a vein doctor in New Jersey has the experience and expertise required to correctly diagnose vein disease and determine the best treatment method. Solving the underlying issue improves circulation, which can reduce your risk of cellulitis.
How is Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treated?
Many people avoid seeing a vein doctor for varicose veins and other related symptoms, because they believe that the only way to treat these issues involves painful, invasive surgery. Fortunately, major advances in the field of venous medicine have resulted in a long list of new, minimally invasive treatment options.
Today’s vein disease treatments center around procedures that permanently close diseased veins. Blood is rerouted through healthier veins, and the unused veins are reabsorbed by your body. Treatments are usually performed at the vein treatment clinic, and they are virtually painless. They can be completed in just 15 – 30 minutes, and most patients resume their normal activities on the same day.
For more information on treating vein disease, schedule a consultation with the vein specialists at Vein Treatment Clinic.
How Will My Doctor Treat Cellulitis?
After taking your medical history, your physician will ask basic questions, such as have you had any recent cuts or scrapes? Does cellulitis itch? Are you experiencing pain? During the physical exam, your doctor will probably use a needle and syringe to take a culture from the area. The fluid is tested to determine the exact nature of the infection. Doctors may also order blood tests. These are used to determine whether the cellulitis infection has spread to your blood. An x-ray may be necessary if your doctor thinks there is a possibility of infection in your bones.
If the infection is minor, treatment may include rest, over-the-counter pain medications, and elevating the affected area. You can also expect a prescription for oral antibiotics. If your case of cellulitis is serious or the oral antibiotics don’t solve the problem, you may need IV antibiotics. Under very rare circumstances, tissue affected by cellulitis must be removed through surgery.
When Should I Seek Emergency Medical Care?
Does cellulitis itch? Do you feel pain or notice swelling? These are signs that you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. However, some symptoms need immediate attention. Go to an emergency room if you develop a high fever or chills, you feel nauseated, or you vomit. If the affected area gets significantly larger and feels hard to the touch, or if you notice numbness, emergency care is needed. Any increase in pain can signal the infection is spreading and becoming more serious, so it is crucial that you seek treatment right away.