Cellulitis Risk Factors
Researchers have identified certain factors that increase a person's chances of developing cellulitis. Risk factors for cellulitis include problems with the lymphatic system, vein problems, swelling of the leg, breaks in the skin, and obesity. Specific examples of cellulitis risk factors include things such as surgical wounds, skin ulcers, eczema, and surgery with lymph node removal.
Although doctors are aware of the causes of cellulitis, they can seldom explain why one person will get the infection and another person will not. Cellulitis research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop the condition. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease or other health condition.
Generally, cellulitis risk factors include:
- Problems with the lymphatic system
- Vein problems
- Swelling of the leg
- Breaks in the skin
Specific cellulitis risk factors include:
- Surgical wounds
- Skin ulcer (such as a diabetic foot ulcer)
- Athlete's foot
- Eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions that may cause a break in the skin
- A previous episode of cellulitis
- Surgery with lymph node removal
- Radiation therapy
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- IV drug use
- Certain conditions (such as diabetes, HIV or AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma, psoriasis, dyshidrosis, lupus, and heart failure).
People who think that they may be at risk of developing cellulitis should discuss this concern with their doctor. Doctors can suggest ways to help reduce the risk of developing cellulitis, and they can plan an appropriate schedule for checkups.