Health
Fact-checked

At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is Hand Cellulitis?

Hand cellulitis is a potentially serious bacterial infection affecting the skin's deeper layers. It often presents as redness, swelling, and tenderness, sometimes accompanied by fever. Prompt treatment is crucial to prevent spread and complications. Understanding the signs and seeking early medical intervention can be lifesaving. Curious about how to protect yourself and recognize symptoms? Let's explore this condition further.
Nat Robinson
Nat Robinson

Cellulitis is a type of skin infection. The condition is mainly caused by bacteria. Cellulitis can occur in any area of the body. When it occurs on a hand, the condition is known as hand cellulitis. This type of skin infection can quickly spread into areas other than the primary site of infection.

Bacterias such as streptococcus and staphylococcus commonly cause hand cellulitis to develop. The infection generally occurs when a cut, scrap, sore or puncture wound leaves an opening in the skin large enough for bacteria to enter. A recent surgery can be another cause of the infection as the site of the surgical incision can become invaded by bacteria and lead to the illness. Cracked skin, such as that commonly found on the heels can also be a risk factor. In some cases, cellulitis of the hand is caused by insect bites on that body part.

Cellulitis is a skin infection that may occur on the hands.
Cellulitis is a skin infection that may occur on the hands.

Cellulitis hands may appear genuinely reddened and swollen. The hands may feel unusually warm compared to the rest of the body. Often, the skin covering the hands will look firm and glossy. For some people, it may be difficult to have their infected hands touched or to touch things with the hands due to tenderness. The joints may also become stiff, which can restrict flexibility. Certain individuals may notice that the hair covering their hands has diminished, although this symptom may be more visible in men.

A topical antibiotic may be used to treat hand cellulitis.
A topical antibiotic may be used to treat hand cellulitis.

Fatigue, shaking, sweating and chills can be additional hand cellulitis symptoms. There may also be an aching in the hand as well as muscle aches throughout the entire body. If the infection spreads, a fever may be an additional symptom. There may also be ongoing nausea, vomiting and swollen glands.

Doctors will thoroughly examine the infected hand and the rest of the body before making a diagnosis. It may also be necessary to order blood tests to better indicate the amount of infection in the body. Hand cellulitis can become lethal if the infection spreads. Once the infection gets into the bloodstream, it can quickly invade the entire body and a person's life could rapidly become at risk. To treat the infection, doctors normally use antibiotics, although extremely ill patients may be treated most sufficiently in a hospital.

Cellulitis hands may appear to be swollen.
Cellulitis hands may appear to be swollen.

To prevent hand cellulitis, openings in the skin should be treated with great care. This includes washing the areas and patting them dry. If a doctor prescribes an an oral or topical antibiotic medicine for an existing skin problem, it is important to take the medicine as prescribed, as it will protect the patient from further bacteria. The hands should also be protected and guarded from injury when taking part of risky activities, such as using extremely sharp tools and utensils. In addition, any opening in the skin can potentially become infected, therefore, it is important to be aware of the first signs of a possible skin infection.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Cellulitis is a skin infection that may occur on the hands.
      By: Stephen VanHorn
      Cellulitis is a skin infection that may occur on the hands.
    • A topical antibiotic may be used to treat hand cellulitis.
      By: Coprid
      A topical antibiotic may be used to treat hand cellulitis.
    • Cellulitis hands may appear to be swollen.
      By: Kalim
      Cellulitis hands may appear to be swollen.
    • Cracked skin may lead to hand cellulitis.
      By: Tiler84
      Cracked skin may lead to hand cellulitis.
    • A doctor will thoroughly examine the infected hand before diagnosing hand cellulitis.
      By: Shakzu
      A doctor will thoroughly examine the infected hand before diagnosing hand cellulitis.