Doctor Holding a Cellulitis CardCellulitis is a common—but potentially serious—skin infection that is most often triggered by bacterial invasion. Pathogens may bypass your body’s outermost layers of defense by way of cracked or peeling skin, bug bites, or other injuries. For better and worse, cellulitis is the sort of infection that does not discriminate—it can affect people of all ages, from healthy young adults to people with diagnosed autoimmune disorders.

Common Signs of Cellulitis

If you have cellulitis on your toes or feet, you may notice some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • A red-tinted patch of skin that feels warm to the touch
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Swelling
  • Leaking or oozing pus

Why It’s Important to Get Treatment for Cellulitis

Cellulitis isn’t always severe, but that doesn’t mean you should wait for it to go away on its own. If left untreated, cellulitis may cause other complications. If you’ve noticed swollen lymph nodes or tenderness away from your feet, you need to seek immediate treatment.

Severe cases of cellulitis can be life-threatening. If the bacteria that caused your initial infection enters your bloodstream, the pathogens can circulate throughout your body and potentially harm your internal organs.

Surgery Isn’t Usually Required to Treat Cellulitis

Most of the time, cellulitis can be treated with antibacterial medications. However, your recovery will generally depend on the severity of your infection. If your cellulitis is caught early enough, you may recover after a short course of antibiotics. However, if it is particularly aggressive, you may require stronger antibacterial medications and observation. Full-blown surgery isn’t necessary in most cases, although your podiatrist may need to drain an abscess or remove dead tissue to promote healing. You’ll need to consult with your foot and ankle doctor to learn what treatment will be best for your specific situation.

Don’t Wait to Get Treatment

Cellulitis can present in a variety of ways. While it may not always feel or seem severe, you should always seek professional care, especially if you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness or autoimmune disorder. If you think you may have some type of infection on one or both feet, contact the foot and ankle specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry today. Contact us online or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up an appointment.