Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Skin Infection Cellulitis Underlying Cause

Bacteria are normally present on the surface of the skin. The bacteria are harmless because the surface of the skin acts as a protective barrier. When this barrier is broken, bacteria can enter the skin beneath the surface and start to grow. Cellulitis is caused by a bacterial infection of the skin.

Common causes of skin breakdown include:

Skin Infection Cellulitis Types

The two most common bacteria that cause cellulitis include:

  • Staph:
    • The most common causes of cellulitis in the legs and feet.
    • A serious antibiotic-resistant form of this is called MRSA infection.
  • Strep:
    • Also called erysipelas
    • Strep is the most common cause cellulitis on the face and arms.

Common types of cellulitis include:

Continue to Skin Infection Cellulitis Anatomy

Last Updated: Jan 26, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Skin Infection Cellulitis References
  1. Edmonds M, Foster A. The use of antibiotics in the diabetic foot. Am J Surg. 2004 May;187(5A):25S-28S. [15147988]
  2. Leman P, Mukherjee D. Flucloxacillin alone or combined with benzylpenicillin to treat lower limb cellulitis: a randomised controlled trial. Emerg Med J. 2005 May;22(5):342-6. [15843702]
  3. Morris A. Cellulitis and erysipelas. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):2271-7. [15865787]
  4. Swartz MN. Clinical practice. Cellulitis. N Engl J Med. 2004 Feb 26;350(9):904-12. [14985488]
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