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Red, swollen and ultra uncomfortable, cellulitis is one skin condition that can get seriously out of hand if left untreated. We chatted to expert dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe about symptoms, signs and treatments...

GTG: What is Cellulitis?

NL: Cellulitis is an infection under the skin which spreads from small breaks in the surface (such as insect bites and hair follicle infections), causing the area to become red and inflamed. It is most common on the lower legs and less often on the arms, but can occur anywhere on the body.

GTG: What causes Cellulitis?

NL: Any break in the skin can lead to you contracting cellulitis. This can include insect bites, injuries, scratches and hair follicle infections. The infection passes through the skin at the point where the break occurs and causes cellulitis.

If you suspect you may have contracted the condition, you should visit your GP immediately to prevent the infection spreading to other parts of your body or bloodstream as this can lead to serious health complications.

GTG: What are the symptoms?

NL: Symptoms of cellulitis can include redness and swelling of the skin as well as a feeling of pain and discomfort in the surrounding area.

GTG: How can we treat it?

NL: Cellulitis can affect anybody, but is more common in patients with skin conditions that are known for causing breakages in the skin such as eczema. Anybody with a naturally weakened immune system (as a result of diabetes for example) or on medication which reduces the effectiveness of the immune system are also more likely to be at risk.

Antibiotics can be very effective at treating cellulitis if diagnosed promptly. If left untreated, serious health complications such as septicaemia (an infection of the blood) can develop, so it is important you visit your GP straight away if you find you are suffering from any of the symptoms of cellulitis.

Check out Dr Nick Lowe’s website for more information

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