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Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deepest layer of the skin. Bacteria can enter the body through a break in the skin, from a cut, scratch, or bite. If the skin gets infected, it is usually just the top layer and the infection goes away on its own with proper care. With cellulitis, the deep skin tissue in the infected area becomes red, hot, irritated and painful. Cellulitis is most common on the face and lower legs.

You may have cellulitis if you notice:

  • Area of skin redness or swelling that gets larger
  • Tight, glossy look to skin
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Skin rash that happens suddenly and grows quickly
  • Signs of infection including fever, chills and muscle aches

Cellulitis can be serious, and even deadly, therefore prompt treatment is important. The goal of treatment is to control infection and prevent related problems. Treatment usually includes antibiotics.

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