A single copy of this article may be reprinted for personal, noncommercial use only.
Cellulitis infection: Is it contagious?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cellulitis/AN00745
- With Mayo Clinic dermatologist
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Dr. Lawrence Gibson likens bad health information on the Internet to food poisoning.
Consumers, he says, need to be aware and will find reliable information at MayoClinic.com.
Dr. Gibson, a Covington, Ky., native, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1986 and is board certified in dermatology, dermatopathology and immunodermatology. He is a professor of dermatology at Mayo Medical School and a consultant in the Department of Dermatology.
Dr. Gibson has served as the fellowship director for dermatopathology and as chair of the Laboratory Division in the Department of Dermatology. He is especially interested in inflammatory disorders of the skin, including vasculitis, and in lymphoma affecting the skin.
"Electronic information has become a staple in the diet of a health conscious society," he says. "It's important to avoid misinformation and provide a credible source for health information. Using this analogy, it's critical to avoid 'indigestion' or, worse yet, 'food poisoning' by the ingestion of tainted information."
- Cellulitis infection: Is it contagious?
Risk factors (1)
- Cellulitis: How to prevent recurrent episodes
Cellulitis infection: Is it contagious?
Is cellulitis contagious?
from Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Cellulitis isn't usually spread from person to person. Cellulitis is an infection of the deeper layers of the skin most commonly caused by bacteria that normally live on the skin's surface. You have an increased risk of developing cellulitis if you:
- Have an injury such as a cut, fracture, burn or scrape
- Have a skin condition such as eczema, athlete's foot or shingles
- Participate in contact sports, such as wrestling
- Have diabetes or a weakened immune system
- Have a chronic swelling of your arms or legs (lymphedema)
- Use intravenous drugs
Signs and symptoms of cellulitis include:
- Redness, swelling and tenderness
- Warmth of the affected skin
- Fever and chills
- Swollen glands or lymph nodes
Left untreated, cellulitis can rapidly turn into a life-threatening condition. Treatment usually includes antibiotics. In severe cases, you may need to be hospitalized and receive antibiotics through your veins (intravenously).Next question
Cellulitis: How to prevent recurrent episodes
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practic. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..X0001-1--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Feb. 10, 2012.
- Baddour LM. Cellulitis and erysipelas. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Feb. 10, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Feb. 10, 2012.