Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and the soft tissues underneath. It happens when bacteria enter a break in the skin and spread. The result is infection, which may cause swelling, redness, pain, or warmth.
Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare infection that's often described in media reports as a condition involving "flesh-eating bacteria." It can be fatal if not treated promptly.
Necrotizing fasciitis spreads quickly and aggressively in an infected person. It causes tissue death at the infection site and beyond.
Every year, between 600 and 700 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. About 25% to 30% of those cases result in death. It rarely occurs in children.
Bone infections underneath the skin. (An example is a long-standing, open wound that is deep enough to expose the bone to bacteria.)
Symptoms of Cellulitis
Cellulitis can appear on almost any part of the body. It usually shows up on damaged skin such as inflamed wounds, dirty cuts, and areas with poor circulation. It needs to be treated by a doctor. Common symptoms include:
Pain or tenderness
Leaking of yellow, clear fluid or pus
When to Seek Emergency Care for Cellulitis
Go to the emergency room if you have any of the following: