Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: September  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • anaesthesia or severe pain over site of cellulitis
  • fever
  • palpitations, tachycardia, tachypnoea, hypotension, and lightheadedness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • delirium
  • crepitus
  • vesicles or bullae
  • grey discoloration of skin
  • oedema or induration

Risk factors

  • chronic illness
  • inpatient contact with index case
  • Varicella zoster infection
  • cutaneous injury, surgery, trauma
  • other skin lesions
  • intravenous drug use
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • FBC and differential
  • serum electrolytes
  • serum urea and creatinine
  • serum C-reactive protein
  • serum CK
  • blood and tissue cultures
  • Gram stain
  • arterial blood gas
  • radiography and CT/MRI
  • surgical exploration
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

William A. Petri, Jr

Wade Hampton Frost Professor of Epidemiology

Professor of Medicine

Microbiology and Pathology

Chief

Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health

University of Virginia

Charlottesville

VA

Disclosures

WAP declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Division of Infectious Diseases

University of Vermont

Burlington

VT

Disclosures

CH declares that he has no competing interests.

Professor of Infectious Diseases and Hon. Consultant

Section of Infectious Diseases

Imperial College London

London

UK

Disclosures

SS declares that she has no competing interests.

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