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Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin that is characterized by swelling, redness, warmth, and pain. The most common cause of this infection in adults with no other medical conditions is group A streptococcus, which is a bacterium commonly found in the throat and on the skin. Treatment for this condition usually involves antibiotics and recurrence prevention.

What Is Cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a skin infection that is characterized by swelling, redness, warmth, and pain. It is one of the most common infections seen by doctors -- it affects all age groups and occurs more often in men than women.
 

Types

Cellulitis can occur anywhere on the body. However, it most often affects the legs, feet, arms, and hands. When the infection occurs in these areas, it is referred to as cellulitis of the extremities.
 
Cellulitis can also occur:
 
 
(Click Types of Cellulitis for more information.)
 

What Causes It?

Cellulitis is an infection that is caused by bacteria. The most common cause of cellulitis in adults with no other medical conditions is group A streptococcus, which is a bacterium commonly found in the throat and on the skin.
 
Another common cause of the condition in adults is Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which is a bacterium that is commonly found on human skin and mucosa (lining of mouth and nose).

(Click Cause of Cellulitis for more information.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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