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Leg Cellulitis: Risk Factors and Symptoms

Risk Factors for Leg Cellulitis

Cellulitis research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely to develop leg cellulitis than others. Common risk factors for the condition include:
  • Problems with the lymphatic system
  • Vein problems
  • Swelling of the leg
  • Breaks in the skin
  • Obesity.
Specific risk factors include:
  • Surgical wounds
  • Skin ulcer (such as a diabetic ulcer)
  • Eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions that may cause a break in the skin
  • A previous episode of cellulitis
  • Surgery to remove lymph nodes
  • Radiation therapy
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • IV drug use
  • Chemotherapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain conditions, including diabetes, HIV or AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma, psoriasis, dyshidrosis, lupus, and heart failure.
While these risk factors are not actual causes of leg cellulitis, they do increase a person's chances of developing it. People who believe that they may be at risk for leg cellulitis should discuss this concern with their healthcare provider.

Symptoms of Leg Cellulitis

Symptoms of leg cellulitis can occur at the location of the infected skin (local symptoms) or they can occur on other parts of the body (systemic symptoms).
(Click Cellulitis Symptoms for more information.)

Cellulitis Types

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