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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. 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.
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:
y Problems with the lymphatic system y Vein problems y Swelling of the leg y Breaks in the skin y Obesity.
Specific risk factors include:
y Surgical wounds y Skin ulcer (such as a diabetic ulcer) y Eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions that may cause a break in the skin y A previous episode of cellulitis y Surgery to remove lymph nodes y Radiation therapy y Coronary artery bypass surgery y IV drug use y Chemotherapy y Pregnancy y 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).
Diagnosing Leg Cellulitis
Your healthcare provider typically makes a leg cellulitis diagnosis by asking questions about your medical history, performing a physical exam, and ordering blood tests. The most reliable way of diagnosing leg cellulitis is by looking at the affected area. An area affected by cellulitis will be:
"impaired skin integrity related to edema as manifested by open wounds" is a likely diagnosis. or ulcers) where bacteria could have entered. However. eHow Contributor Cellulitis is a skin infection most commonly caused by staph and strep bacteria. so tell your doctor if you are allergic to penicillin. Even if there are no open sores from the infection. Cellulitis makes skin susceptible to other damage. Activity 3. contact the patient's doctor to determine if a higher dose needs to be given. your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics for a longer period of time. you should keep the affected leg elevated and use cold compresses to help reduce pain. skin conditions. A possible diagnosis is "acute pain related to skin infection as manifested by patient reporting extreme discomfort. In severe cases. especially if it has spread throughout the system. swollen and warm to the touch." Encourage the patient to engage in as much physical activity as she feels possible. The related factor may include pain. the swelling can weaken the skin and lead to problems. Your healthcare provider will also look for breaks in your skin (such as cuts. scrapes. especially if the infection has spread to the layers beneath the skin. fatigue due to medication or general weakness as expressed by the patient. . Antibiotics are usually the first line of treatment. 50 percent of people who receive treatment experience a recurrence of leg cellulitis. bruises. During treatment for leg cellulitis. The patient's tolerance for activity can be affected by cellulitis. "activity intolerance related to side effects of medication as manifested by patient saying she feels weak. turning the patient regularly and keeping the area dry. Severe cellulitis can be very painful. This can be expressed as "risk for impaired skin integrity related to edema. Interventions include avoiding friction against the infected area. Regularly assess vital signs. If this happens. help her perform range of motion exercises and allow for adequate periods of rest and relaxation. Skin Integrity 1. including bed sores. If the medication isn't helping." If sores are present. Generally. Specific treatment options include medications and recurrence prevention. Nursing Diagnosis for Cellulitis By Nicole Etolen.y Red y Warm to the touch y Swollen y Painful. Symptoms include fever and skin that is red. as pain can increase heart rate and blood pressure. For example. Pain 2. keeping the patient comfortable and making sure she understands how to prevent future infections. He or she will likely also order a blood test to see if there is any indication of an infection. the patient maybe admitted to treat the infection more aggressively." Ask the patient to describe the type and intensity of the pain and monitor the effect of pain medication. Nursing diagnoses focus on minimizing damage to the skin. cellulitis can be treated with oral antibiotics. Treating Leg Cellulitis Treatment for leg cellulitis is aimed at healing the affected area and any underlying conditions that may increase the likelihood of a recurrence.
A nursing diagnosis of "knowledge deficit related to wound care" should be followed up with interventions that teach the patient how to properly care for a wound. and.Fever 4. it is important to make sure your patient gets plenty of fluids. Happiness is a journey. not a destination. your interventions would involve keeping the patient free of fever by administering doctor-prescribed fever reducers and monitoring vital signs. So work like you don't need money. live like you will die tommorow. especially with wounds. its about standing out!! . Cellulitis may be prevented by taking simple precautions. dance like no one's watching. Fever can also be the cause of a diagnosis. keeping it covered and watching for signs of infection. Life isn't about fitting in. such as "risk for deficient fluid volume. flushing. These include cleaning the wound. Fever is a common symptom of cellulitis and could be expressed as "hyperthermia related to bacterial infection. Since fever can lead to dehydration. learn live you will live forever There is no better time than right now to be happy." In this case. warm skin or excessive sweating. applying antibiotic cream." The evidence may include elevated heart rate. love like you've never been hurt. Knowledge Deficit 5.