There are several ways to determine the likelihood that one has a cellulitis infection. Initial symptoms start out small and often appear similar to other conditions, though as an infection spreads they will become more severe and indicative of cellulitis. Even the smallest symptoms should be heeded, however, as an increased the intensity of the infection brings on a possibility of serious complications. In order to identify cellulitis symptoms properly, one should be aware of what the possible signs of infection may be.

Common Symptoms

Early symptoms will usually manifest on the skin itself, creating visual indicators that an infection has taken hold. Redness of the infected area is the most common, though this can often be mistaken for other problems, such as eczema or even a sunburn. Redness may be accompanied by pain or tenderness and often the flesh will feel warm as well. These symptoms will spread out and affect a wider area as the infection becomes worse.

Sores or rashes may appear, sometimes abruptly and often spreading quickly. There may be small red spots interspersed across the surface of the reddened skin or red streaks along an area of the arm or leg. Skin may also take on a tight or stretched quality and appear glossy.

Symptoms of Advanced Infection

As the infection becomes rooted, new symptoms will appear. These will create more discomfort than the first signs and it will become obvious by this point that there is a serious health problem. Aside from a general feeling of being sick, some of the advanced cellulitis symptoms may be:

  • Aches or pains in the muscles
  • Chills, sweating or fever
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of tissues around the joints
  • Tenderness or swelling of glands near the infected area

There are other symptoms as well, though these are rarer and usually indicate an infection that should be dealt with promptly:

  • Blisters on the surface of the infected area, often bursting and leaking a clear yellow fluid
  • Hair loss near where the infection has taken hold
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Stiffness in the joints

One particular type of cellulitis is when the infection takes place near the eyes. This is referred to as orbital or preorbital cellulitis and is one of the more dangerous forms of this problem. Symptoms which may indicate this serious type of infection include:

  • Pain in the eye, particularly with movement
  • Swelling of the eye
  • Swelling in areas around the eyes, including the eyelids, brows and cheeks
  • Changes in vision or a loss of vision

When to Visit a Doctor

It is best to visit a doctor whenever even the smallest of symptoms occur, as early detection can prevent complications. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Cellulitis symptoms can go unrecognized for several days and are often ignored until they become uncomfortable to the person suffering from infection. There are a few symptoms which, if experienced, are an indicator that one needs to visit a hospital emergency room immediately:

  • The infected area is growing rapidly or becoming hardened.
  • Numbness of the reddened area occurs.
  • The infection occurs on the face or in the groin area.
  • Onset of a high fever.
  • Wounds or blisters begin to leak fluid.

Those who suffer from other health problems which can get worse due to infection should visit a doctor without delay at the first sign of any symptoms. Diabetes or a weakened immune system is particularly serious when combined with cellulitis and can result in even a minor infection becoming quite severe.

Though some cellulitis symptoms may prompt an immediate doctor’s visit more than others, in the end the best way to beat this infection is to start treating it as soon as possible. The earlier treatment begins, the quicker recovery will be and the less chances that other health problems may arise. By knowing what the symptoms of this infection are, one can be prepared and take the necessary steps in order to ensure continued good health.