Skin Home > Leg Cellulitis

Leg cellulitis is a skin infection caused by a few different types of bacteria. Risk factors for the condition include obesity, skin ulcers, and swelling of the leg. Symptoms can be either localized or systemic, but redness, heat, and swelling are typically seen. Leg cellulitis is most commonly treated with antibiotics. Keeping the affected leg elevated and applying cold compresses can help relieve pain.

An Introduction to Leg Cellulitis

Leg cellulitis is a skin infection on the leg that is characterized by swelling, redness, warmth, and pain. It affects people of all ages and can occur anywhere on the body. However, cellulitis mostly affects the legs, feet, arms, and hands. These types of cellulitis are commonly referred to as "cellulitis of the extremities."

Causes of Leg Cellulitis

Leg cellulitis is an infection caused by bacteria. The most common cause of this condition in adults with no medical conditions is group A streptococcus, which is a bacterium commonly found in the throat and on the skin.
Another common cause of leg cellulitis 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).
The most common cause of leg cellulitis in children under the age of three is Haemophilus influenzae type B, which is a bacterium that causes serious infections.
(Click Cause of Cellulitis for more information.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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