Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infection that can become life-threatening if not promptly treated. It can affect any surface of the skin, including the body and face. If not treated, it can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream. Symptoms of cellulitis can come on quickly, or they can develop over time. Do not ignore what appears to be a serious skin sore or rash. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of cellulitis, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Untreated cellulitis can become life-threatening quickly.

Tenderness and pain to the touch

The pain and tenderness caused by a cellulitis infection are not like anything you experienced before. You cannot take an over-the-counter remedy and expect to feel better. The pain and tenderness are specifically located in the affected area. You will likely take the maximum dosage of the over-the-counter remedy before you feel any relief. If you experience pain or tenderness like this, it is important to see your doctor or medical professional as soon as possible. This is especially true if the affected area is red and blotchy.  


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Skin redness or inflammation

Bump your arm or leg, and you experience some skin redness or inflammation temporarily. However, if it does not go away after medication or other treatments, then it is cause for concern. This is one symptom of cellulitis that should not be ignored. You should seek medical attention immediately if you see the redness or inflammation increasing in size. This is a sign of the infection spreading. Cellulitis that is left untreated can become life-threatening.  


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Quick growing skin sore or rash

If you are not prone to skin allergies, but you notice a skin sore or rash that has been quickly growing, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. The longer cellulitis goes without treatment, the harder it will be to cure. A skin sore or rash that has a tight, glossy, and swollen appearance can be a sign that the cellulitis infection is spreading rapidly. It is important to follow the treatment protocol you received from your medical professional to the letter. Keeping the sore or rash clean and covered is important to keep it from spreading further.


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A skin sore or rash with an abscess with pus

Typically, a skin sore or rash that contains an abscess with pus is usually infected. If it is a minor cut or scrape, it may not require medical attention. It can usually be treated by keeping clean and covered with a bandage and an over-the- counter cream or ointment. However, if you are following this treatment protocol, and it is not getting better, you should seek medical attention immediately. If cellulitis is suspected, a strong dosage of prescription medication is needed to treat the sore or rash effectively.



A common cut or scrape is not usually accompanied by a fever. Even if it becomes infected, a fever is not common. Pus is usually present throughout the cut or scrape. You may also experience some pain and discomfort. Your cut or scrape may be more serious than you thought if you are experiencing a fever. This likely means the infection runs deeper than just through the cut or scrape. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.


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Red streaks in the skin

If you suspect you are experiencing symptoms of cellulitis, it is important to keep an eye on the skin sore or rash daily. You are likely experiencing a rapidly spreading cellulitis infection if you see red streaks crawling down from the skin sore or rash. Do not hesitate to seek medical treatment if you see red streaks coming down from the skin sore or rash. You would not want this infection to spread to your lymph nodes or bloodstream.

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7. Chills

Chills are not a common symptom associated with a common cut or scrape. Even if it becomes infected, you likely do not suffer from the chills as a result. If you have gone through the list of cellulitis symptoms, and you begin to experience a case of the chills, you should seek immediate medical attention. An onset of the chills while experiencing possible symptoms of cellulitis means the infection could be rapidly spreading. The faster the infection is treated, the more rapidly it will clear up.  


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Right after a common cut or scrape becomes infected, you will not likely feel lethargic. As previously mentioned, you may experience some pain or discomfort. Pus may be excreted from the wound, but you are not likely to be overcome by tiredness. Feeling lethargic is one of the symptoms of a more serious case of cellulitis. Seeking medical attention at this point is more important than ever. The sooner treatment for cellulitis starts, the more likely a strong dose of medication will cure it, without hospitalization.


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Lethargy and lightheadedness usually go hand in hand. If you have what appears to be an infected skin sore or rash, and you feel lightheaded, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Your cellulitis infection is likely becoming more serious or even spreading. If the infection spreads any further into the body, it is possible to spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream. Cellulitis infections that become this serious usually require hospitalization. They can also become life-threatening a lot faster than you think.


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If your skin sore or rash is caused by a common cut or scrape, chances are you will not experience dizzy spells when it becomes infected.  Keeping it clean and dressing it with a bandage and an over-the-counter cream or ointment should improve the infection. However, if following this treatment protocol does not improve the infection, and you begin to experience dizziness, you are dealing with something more serious. It is time to seek immediate medical attention. Dizziness could mean you blood pressure is higher than usual. This can be dangerous to your health.


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