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Treating Skin Conditions Like Cellulitis and Impetigo

Our experienced team at Kraig Jenson, PC, Dermatology Center, have helped patients of all ages treat skin problems, including those that occur underneath the epidermis. Our dermatologists, Dr. Jenson and Dr. Edwards have provided relief to patients young and old for these conditions, including cellulitis and impetigo, for more than 30 years now.

What is it Cellulitis?
This is a skin infection that occurs in the skin and soft tissues below the epidermal layers caused by a break in the skin that normally keeps out bacteria. As the strep (Streptococcus) or staph (Staphylococcus) bacteria spread under the skin, it leads to an infection that can show up as:

– Warmth
– Redness or red streaking
– Swelling
– Pain
– Pus or clear fluid leaks

Cellulitis often shows up in adults in the lower legs, and people who have athlete’s foot, eczema or have had cellulitis before are more susceptible. Signs that it might be spreading or worsening include fever, chills, fatigue, sweating, dizziness or muscle aches.

Cellulitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including post-surgical infection, any injury that breaks the skin barrier allowing bacterial access, bone infections that are beneath the skin, and foreign objects in the skin as well as long-term skin conditions.

Increasingly, the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain is causing cellulitis as well. If cellulitis is left untreated, it can infect the bloodstream (sepsis) and damage the lymph nodes and even become life-threatening. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and keeping the area clean, covered, and elevated to reduce swelling.

What is Impetigo?
This condition arises from bacteria-strep, such as Staphylococcus aureus bacteria or Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. Like cellulitis, impetigo can get inside the body from a skin injury like insect bites, minor cuts or a rash (like eczema). But even healthy skin can develop impetigo. This highly contagious infection also comes from bacterial invasion and while it is generally seen in young children two to five years old, or infants wearing diapers, it can be contracted by anyone who has been in contact with an infected individual (family members). Children in daycare centers and classrooms in school are highly susceptible to this condition.

Signs to look out for, particularly on the face, arms and legs, include:

– Tiny red spots that morph into open blisters
– Itchy sores of varying size that ooze fluid
– Blisters that burst and then crust over in yellow

To avoid complications, our doctors can prescribe topical antibiotics. You’ll also want to wash and disinfect your child’s bedding, towels, clothing, toys etc. that may have been in contact with the sores. If you or a family member shows symptoms of cellulitis or impetigo, please give our team in Orem, Utah a call to schedule an appointment.

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