Cellulitis is basically a bacterial infection that affects the deepest skin layer of an individual. It is commonly seen in the lower legs and typically develops once bacteria enters the body via a break in the skin through cuts or scrapes. The indications of this condition include swelling or reddening that steadily increases in size along with glossy and tightened skin, tenderness, pain and abrupt appearance of rashes, muscle aches, fever and chills.
If the condition is left to progress and not treated right away, the cellulitis in the leg can become severe and after some time, complications will surely develop that can be difficult to manage. By enrolling in one of the course on first aid, you can learn more on how to manage this condition.
If the bacteria spread to the eye socket, it can easily access the skull cavity. This will cause the inflammation of the meninges which is the lining that protects the brain and spinal cord. This leads to blockage of the blood vessels in the brain of the individual which can cause a stroke and even brain damage.
It is important to note that once the deeper layers of the skin in the legs are involved, the infection can quickly spread by entering the lymph nodes and the bloodstream of the individual.
It can also reach the eyelids of the individual which causes the condition known as preseptal cellulitis. This will lead to the development of sore or itchy rash. In most cases, the bacteria can also go behind the seal where the eye is linked to the socket. This condition is called as orbital cellulitis and considered as a medical emergency since it can lead to an impaired vision. If timely treatment is not given, it can lead to permanent damage to the eye, resulting to permanent loss of vision. Remember that it can also spread to the brain and cause meningitis.
Once the bacteria spreads via the lymphatic system or the bloodstream, it can cause red lines to manifest under the skin of the individual before the actual rash is evident. In case the red-colored line goes straight to the heart, it indicates that there might be blood poisoning which is called as septicemia and considered as a medical emergency that requires immediate medical care.
Other potential complications
It is important to note that the infection in leg cellulitis can go deeper in which it affects the fascial lining. In such cases, necrotizing fasciitis can develop which would require immediate medical attention. Gangrene can also occur which can lead to the loss of a limb. The recurrence of leg cellulitis can also occur which can lead to permanent changes in the skin color around the affected area.