7. Signs and Symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, cellulitis may present with areas of the skin that are warm, red, and tender to the touch. The affected area may be swollen and painful. Furthermore, cellulitis may be accompanied by fever. In addition, the area of redness may grow or become enlarged over time. Signs of a progressing infection may include red spots, red streaks, blisters, pus-filled bumps, or dimpling of the skin. Skin dimpling or pitting refers to skin that takes on the texture or appearance of an orange peel.
Without medical treatment, cellulitis can progress to infect the bloodstream and lymph nodes. Signs of a severe case of cellulitis may include fever, numbness or tingling, and blackened skin. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, complications of cellulitis can include tissue damage and gangrene. An infection that spreads to organs and body systems such as the heart, lymphatic system, or nervous system can result in shock or death.
If you notice signs or symptoms of cellulitis, seek medical treatment by contacting your physician or visiting an urgent care center. Your doctor may be able to diagnose cellulitis simply by conducting a physical examination. In most cases, you will not require invasive testing to diagnose this condition. However, in some cases, your doctor may order a blood test in order to determine the best antibiotic for your infection. If your physician suspects a condition other than cellulitis may be causing your symptoms, he or she may refer you to a dermatologist.