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Cellulitis Diagnosis

When making a cellulitis diagnosis, your doctor will ask a number of questions, perform a physical exam, and order blood tests. As part of the process of diagnosing cellulitis, your doctor will need to rule out other possible medical conditions that have similar symptoms (such as gout, lupus, and lymphoma).

Cellulitis Diagnosis: An Overview

Your doctor can make a cellulitis diagnosis by asking a number of questions (about things such as your medical history), performing a physical exam, and ordering blood tests.

Cellulitis Diagnosis: Medical History

When reviewing your medical history, your doctor may ask you about medical conditions that might increase your risk of developing cellulitis. These medical conditions include:
Your doctor may also ask you if:

  • You have recently been in fresh or salt water
  • An animal has bitten you
  • Any of your family members, coworkers, or other close contacts have had any recent skin infections.

Cellulitis Diagnosis: Physical Exam and Blood Tests

The most reliable way of diagnosing cellulitis is by examining the affected area. An area that is affected by cellulitis will be:
  • Red
  • Warm to the touch
  • Swollen
  • Painful.
Your doctor will also look for breaks in your skin (such as cuts, bruises, scrapes, skin conditions, or ulcers) where bacteria could have entered. He or she then may order a blood test to determine if there is any indication of an infection.

Information on Cellulitis

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