Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and underlying tissue. Various types of bacteria can cause this type of infection, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is also known as MRSA. People who have medical conditions or injuries that may cause their immune system to be weakened will be at a higher risk of this type of infection, but it will not cause the infection. Breaks in the skin can cause cellulitis. Being aware of the causes will help to avoid it.
15 Causes Through Breaks In The Skin
Bacteria cause cellulitis. The two most common bacteria responsible for this type of infection are strep (streptococcus) and staph (staphylococcus) bacteria. Both of these types are commonly found on the skin along with the bacteria that causes MRSA. Generally the bacteria live peacefully with beneficial bacteria and don’t cause any type of cellulitis. Trauma, disease, a compromised immune system, poor hygiene, and other factors can cause the bacterial balance to become imbalanced and result in an infection.
Cellulitis will enter the body and cause an infection through breaks in the skin. Some of the causes of breaks in the skin include the following:
- Cracked, dry skin
- Skin disease
- Insect bites
- Animal bites
- Medical procedures
It is important to clean all wounds and breaks in the skin properly. Good hygiene is important to prevent skin infections. Using soap and water will lower the risk of severe infections because antibacterial products kill beneficial bacteria in addition to the harmful bacteria. Simply washing with soap and water will be effective in preventing the spread of bacteria. Keeping breaks in the skin covered to avoid contact with bacteria that causes cellulitis is important.
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Coming in contact with staph or strep bacteria commonly causes cellulitis, but other less common bacteria can cause the infection. One of them is Hemophilus influenzae type B. Before the flu vaccine, this was the most common causes in children. Other less common causes include the following:
- Pasteurella multocida-a gram-negative and non-motile bacterium that commonly found in domesticated dogs and cats
- Eikenella corrodens-a gram-negative bacteria that is found in the sinuses, ear, and oral cavity
Lab testing will determine if there is a single bacterium causing the infection or from more than one of the types of bacteria that cause cellulitis.
Treating The Causes
The causes of cellulitis may vary, but for the most part any infection that cannot be treated successfully at home and will need medical attention. Antibiotics are needed to treat this type of bacterial infection. When there are MRSA symptoms it will be more important to have a medical professional test the type of bacteria that is causing the infection. MRSA can get serious and even life threatening rapidly so it will need prompt and aggressive treatment.