Last reviewed: September 2018
Last updated: June  2018

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • history of traumatic or nontraumatic cutaneous lesion
  • anesthesia or severe pain over site of cellulitis
  • fever
  • palpitations, tachycardia, tachypnea, hypotension, and lightheadedness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • delirium
  • crepitus
  • vesicles or bullae
  • gray discoloration of skin
  • edema or induration
  • location of lesion

Risk factors

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

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • complete blood count and differential
  • serum electrolytes
  • serum BUN and creatinine
  • serum C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • serum creatine kinase (CK)
  • serum lactate
  • blood and tissue cultures
  • Gram stain
  • arterial blood gas
  • radiography and computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (CT/MRI)
  • surgical exploration
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Fellow

Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health

University of Virginia

Charlottesville

VA

Disclosures

KLS declares that he has no competing interests.

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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