Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a common skin infection caused by the Strep or the Staph bacteria. The bacteria infiltrate the body through abrasions, cuts, or open wounds. Once the bacteria infiltrate the body they start to grow and cause inflammation, redness, and swelling at the affected site. This result in development of an infection which is what is termed as cellulitis.

Cellulitis can develop in any area of the body but is mostly seen in the legs, arms, eyes, and breasts. In majority of the cases cellulitis is rather mild in nature and favorably responds to administration of antibiotics. If the infection develops in infants less than 3 years of age then the infant may need to be hospitalized for administration of intravenous antibiotics and close monitoring until the infection resolves. It normally takes about a week to recover from a bout of cellulitis but in individuals who are immunocompromised it may take a bit longer to get rid of Cellulitis.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Cellulitis?

Is Cellulitis Dangerous?

Cellulitis is an infection which has the potential to become dangerous. This is especially true if the diagnosis of cellulitis is delayed leading to delayed onset of treatment. If cellulitis is left untreated or the treatment is delayed then the infection has the potential to spread rapidly.

Once the infection starts spreading it can quickly spread to nearby structures causing significant damage and ultimately may even infiltrate the blood. Once the blood gets infected by cellulitis then it may lead to potentially catastrophic complications like a deadly medical condition called sepsis or blood poisoning. This is a medical condition which requires emergent medical attention so as to prevent the affected individual from this life threatening condition.

Another condition which may arise if cellulitis is left untreated is called as bacterial meningitis in which the brain and the spinal cord get infected and there may be significant damage done to it because of the infection.

In fact a study conducted some time ago came to the conclusion that 2-3% of the population of the United States are admitted to the hospital every year for complications that arise as a result of cellulitis.

In conclusion, while cellulitis is a minor infection that is spread through cuts, bruises, or insect bites on the surface of the skin which can be easily treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics can become potentially dangerous if the condition is ignored by the affected individual and the infection spreads. Cellulitis is an infection which spreads extremely quickly and within no time it may lead potentially life threatening complications. Thus it is highly recommended to treat cellulitis as soon as it is diagnosed so as to prevent any complications that may arise as a result of spread of the infection.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 5, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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