Cellulitis is an infection of the skin that involves inflammation of the tissue beneath its surface. It may appear on any area of the body, but it generally occurs on the face or the lower portion of the legs. It’s important to know how to recognize the symptoms of cellulitis so that you can seek treatment as soon as possible.


Recognize changes in the appearance of your skin that may indicate the presence of cellulitis. If you are experiencing symptoms of cellulitis, your skin is likely to be red and swollen, and may appear to be slightly shiny. The affected area of skin may feel tighter than normal and will most likely feel warm to the touch.

Pay careful attention to your body after the first symptoms of cellulitis manifest themselves. Since cellulitis appears very suddenly, and symptoms usually worsen within the first 24 hours after appearance, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of cellulitis and seek treatment immediately.

Look for familiar symptoms that may be mistaken for other ordinary illnesses, such as the flu or common cold. The onset of cellulitis is sometimes accompanied by symptoms like general fatigue, muscle aches, swollen glands, fever and chills. It’s important to be on the lookout for other symptoms, such as the appearance of your skin, to be sure that you do not confuse these symptoms for those of a less serious condition.

Remember that cellulitis may appear on a variety of your body parts. Though it usually shows up on the face or legs in adults, it may also be found on the arms or chest. The most common spots for cellulitis in children are the face and anus.

Look for hair loss on the area of your skin that you suspect may be infected with cellulitis. If this part of your body is normally hairy and suddenly appears to be red, especially with streaks around the edges, and seems to be growing steadily more painful you may have cellulitis.

Note whether you feel any stiffness in your joints. The tissue under your skin swells when infected by cellulitis, and this may cause your joints to feel rigid and inflexible if they are close to the source of infection.

Tips

  • People who have body piercings may actually be more susceptible to cellulitis, because the hole where the skin is pierced provides an area for bacteria to get beneath the surface of the skin more easily.