Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and underlying tissue that occurs in men more often than women. There are different types of cellulites and different types of bacteria that cause it.

The two most common bacteria that are responsible for this type of infection are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus (“staph”). Cellulitis is categorized and typed by the parts of the body that are affected. Antibiotics are usually used to treat the infection and the type of bacteria that is causing the infection will determine the antibiotic that is used.

When cellulitis is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics then MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) will be suspected. Treatment is similar for all cellulitis types.

Type Is Based On Body Part

Cellulitis can affect any part of the body that has skin on it. Some skin areas may be more susceptible to contact with the bacteria that causes cellulitis than other parts of the body. These are some of the types of cellulitis:

  1. Breast – infection of the skin or underlying tissue of the breast. It is most common in women, but can affect men. Breast cancer treatment, breast reduction surgery, and breast augmentation surgery can increase the risk.
  2. Facial – infection of the skin on the face, but excludes the eyes and skin around the eyes. Severe acne, oral infections, upper respiratory infections, injury, and lymphatic system problems can increase the risk.
  3. Perianal – infection of the anus. Hemorrhoids, poor hygiene, and constipation can increase the risk.
  4. Orbital – infection of the skin and tissue around the eye. Trauma to the eye, sinus infections, ear infection, and eye infections increase the risk.
  5. Periorbital – infection of the eyelids. Upper respiratory infections, trauma, and ingrown eyelashes increase risk.
  6. Extremity – infection of the skin on the hands, arms, legs, and feet. Various skin conditions that cause rashes, dryness, or breaks in the skin increase the risk.

Risk factors for various types of cellulitis do not cause the infection, but contact with bacteria does cause cellulitis. A compromised immune system will increase the risk of developing it.

Types of Cellulitis Bacteria

Streptococcus cellulitis and Staphylococcus cellulitis are the two most common cellulitis types. MRSA cellulitis does occur, but is not common. Any condition, illness, or injury that weakens the immune system will increase the risk of this infection from any of the bacteria that can cause an infection. Recognizing the symptoms of MRSA will prevent cellulitis complications.

What About The Treatment?

Antibiotics are used to treat all types of cellulitis. In the event of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) only MRSA antibiotics will be administered. Generally, antibiotics will be administered orally. In severe cases they may need to be administered intravenously and minor cases the antibiotics will be administered topically.

Cellulitis in Children

Cellulitis in children is not usually common, but children with chicken pox and children who have had invasive medical procedures will be at higher risk of this type of infection. Children commonly have extremity, perianal, or facial cellulitis. Poor hygiene and careless wound care make children more susceptible to this infection.


Preventing cellulitis by building a strong immune system, good hygiene, and caring properly for wounds will help reduce the risks of developing all types of cellulitis.