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Cellulitis is an acute bacterial infection characterized by a red, hot, well-defined, tender area of skin. Growth and invasion of the bacteria produce inflammation, tenderness, warmth, and redness. The disorder is not contagious. Persons with diabetes are prone to developing this condition.
The most common causative agents are streptococcal and staphylococcal germs, which may enter the skin secondary to minor trauma such as a scratch or insect bite.
All cases of cellulitis should be evaluated by a physician. Hot compresses and oral antibiotics usually result in prompt resolution; if not, or if the condition is accompanied by elevated temperature, blood culture is recommended to rule out spread of the infection.