Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that can spread rapidly if not treated immediately.

Cellulitis can result in necrotizing fasciitis or sepsis, both potentially life-threatening conditions. Patients often present with painful, swollen areas of red skin that are warm to the touch. Although it’s most commonly seen on the skin of the lower legs, it can occur anywhere throughout the body. Untreated or mistreated cellulitis can extend through the soft tissues into the lymph nodes and bloodstream, resulting in life-threating conditions. Cellulitis should be treated aggressively with antimicrobials while excluding the diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis and sepsis. Significant cellulitis can result in morbidity and mortality and thus should be treated by infectious disease experts at a medical facility or burn center.