What is cellulitis?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

The term cellulitis is commonly used to indicate a nonnecrotizing inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues, usually from acute infection (see the image below). Cellulitis usually follows a breach in the skin, although a portal of entry may not be obvious; the breach may involve microscopic skin changes or invasive qualities of certain bacteria.

Patient with cellulitis of the left ankle. This ce Patient with cellulitis of the left ankle. This cellulitis was caused by community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). (Photo courtesy of Texas Dept. of Public Health.)

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!