Cellulitis and Diabetes

Cellulitis and Diabetes

By Clara Schneider MS, RD, RN, CDE, LDN

On one of our DiabetesCare.net forums, I had a question on cellulitis and diabetes. After answering the question, I thought it would be a good blog topic to share with you. My goal is to teach you about cellulitis to learn more about taking good care of yourself.

cellulitis is a condition that needs to be taken very seriously especially with diabetesIf you have diabetes, be extra careful of your skin. Infections are more common and when blood glucose is high, it will potentially feed the infection. (1) Cellulitis is an infection found in skin and tissues that are found directly under the skin. It can be caused by many types of bacteria including streptoccus, staphylococcus and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). People that have diabetesare at a higher risk of developing cellulitis and in some cases, can spread rapidly. (2) 

Some people confuse cellulite with cellulitis. Cellulite is composed of fat that pushes up against connective tissue making the skin pucker. It is not harmful. (3) Cellulitis is different; it is an infection that can be very harmful.

Any infection causes an increase in blood glucose. This happens in all people (even in people that usually have their values under control). In people without diabetes, the extra glucose is released to help fight the infection. Their body will also release extra insulin to handle the extra glucose. When a person has diabetes, this extra rise in the glucose can cause problems. (4) Diabetes can also cause the skin to be susceptible to bacteria by slowing blood flow. (5) 

What are the signs and symptoms of cellulitis? 

The most identifiable signs of cellulitis are pain and tenderness, swelling, redness and warmth over an area of skin. The number of white blood cells increase to help fight the infection. The area becomes swollen. Fever and chills may also develop. The skin may develop blisters (but not always). (2,6) 

In adults, cellulitis develops most often in the legs and feet. In children it is frequently seen on the head and neck. It can develop anywhere on the body but frequently at the site of wounds, burns, insect or animal bites or a surgical incisions. (7) It can occur anywhere that the skin has been punctured or injured. This can include an injury that may form from fungal infections such as “athletes’ feet”. Cellulitis usually is only on one side of the body (example one leg).

How does cellulitis develop?

Bacteria usually enters the body through the break in the skin. This break can be of any size. In some cases of cellulitis, the break in the skin cannot be found. Sometimes in cases where athlete’s foot is present, the break may be from the fungus in the foot. The cellulitis may develop from the bacteria that enters the break in the skin at the foot level which may travel to the lower leg. The area has infection present and can spread very rapidly. (8) 

What can I do to prevent cellulitis?

Take care of your skin which would include taking precautions to prevent cuts and wounds. Steps to decrease the possibility of developing cellulitis include:
•    Ask professionals on your diabetes healthcare team to learn how to inspect your feet and other body parts for problem areas. Follow through with the recommendations. 
•    Go to a podiatrist or other qualified foot care professional for recommendations and help to acquire shoes and footwear that fit. Ask what you should wear at the beach or pool, in your house and everywhere. 
•     Ask your healthcare team for more advice on cellulitis prevention. 

What should I do if I suspect I have cellulitis?

•    Call your doctor or healthcare professional immediately. 
•    A doctor or qualified heath care professional needs to assess the area to determine the extent of the cellulitis and mediation to use to treat it. A biopsy may be needed. The doctor may order oral antibiotics medications that you would take by mouth. Many cases of cellulitis need intravenous antibiotics. A person may need to be admitted to the hospital for this. In the hospital, the doctor would have access to other experts for consultation. (9) 
•    Ask questions of your healthcare team. Ask for written information on your care and how to prevent cellulitis from happening again. 

Cellulitis is a very scary thing. Feb 10th was at work thinking I had pulled a muscle in my arm. Proceeded through my day in extreme pain. Got in touch with my boss and set up an doctors appointment right away. By the time I arrived at my doctors office my fever was 105 my heart rate was super high and my arm was 3times normal size. They had surgeon come right up he said it might require amputation if worst case scenario. Went to ER then was transported to another hospital for emergency surgery. My white blood count was 39,000 not only was my body fighting the cellulitis but i had the flu on top of it. I spent 6 days in the hospital and a week out of work. If you experience anything similiar be sure to get it checked.. I was told if I didnt go that day there is a very good chance I wouldnt have woken up the next day.

My Older sister passed away a year ago, I was curious about the reason, I was told it was cellulits . I was told that she had a swollen leg. Will be that true cause?

 It absolutely could be cellulitis. I came down with cellulitis on my injection site where I was vaccinated against flu my first year in college. I received my shot from a reputable doctor's office. It was just one of those freak accidents. Luckily, I realized I needed medical care and was able to afford the care I needed. One little spot on my arm made me VERY ill VERY quickly, though. I was admitted in the hospital for 5 days and almost had to get skin grafting done. I had a fever of 104.7 and was in pain all over my body. Cellulitis is a very serious medical issue. I'm sorry to hear about your sister!

Cellulitis is occasionally caused by AIDS drugs. It's listed as a possible side effect on their labels. I had a friend who had AIDS in the 1990s who
had a bad case of cellulitis on his leg. His nurse then pointed out the 
side effect on the side of his scripts.

sir, what is age of your sister was, in which country she lived, there are many diease food must change ,living style must change, drinke water filter,, yoga theraphy, yoga . , from. bihar school school of yoga, , are you stay in uk. oa usa..,, drink water in piytal glass.

she was above 60 years, She was in Mysore, Karnataka India, I am in Djibouti East Africa.

on every 7 th day you fully change the food or make fasting one time , for who many days she was suffering or dease ocur

you can dial mo han naskar....in kolkata....9433450473

there herebal experts famoys kabiraj in bishnupur near khargpur name bidraj kabiraj bramha... near about 500 patiens for tese type of desase throught india. my ph ican write,,,,,,,,i am not geting any financial support from govt. or any pwhere. ...there is herbal. .. i can cure jaundice with the help of herbal within .. 2,,,hours..i visited ,,many place in india. seen many adibasi...tribes in india..they have full fitnes in body in every time during full of life . please you visit india tribal area. thry have no diease

Cellulitis and Diabetes Cellulitis and Diabetes Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 1:04 PM Rating: 5

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