Monday, February 20, 2006

Cellulitis infection: Is it contagious?

Cellulitis is not contagious — which means you cannot catch cellulitis from someone who has it. However, the same bacteria that cause cellulitis can be spread by direct contact with an open sore of an infected person. If you acquire these bacteria, you may develop a minor skin infection — but you are also at some increased risk of developing cellulitis.

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that occurs in the deeper layers (dermis and subcutaneous tissues) of the skin. Although the infection is apparent on the outer layer (epidermis) of skin, the infection spreads just beneath this outer layer in the dermis.

Signs and symptoms of cellulitis include redness, swelling, tenderness and warmth of the affected skin. The changes in your skin may be accompanied by a fever. Left untreated, the bacterial infection may rapidly turn into a life-threatening condition. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment of cellulitis is important.

Mayo Clinic

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