DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cellulitis in a patient's hand, causing redness & inflammation over a wide area. The unaffected hand is shown for comparison. Cellulitis occurs when bacteria such as streptococci infect connective tissue below the skin. A common cause is a wound that allows bacteria to enter the tissue. In this case the cause was a splinter. The affected area becomes hot, tender and red, and the patient may develop fever. If left untreated the infection can spread, potentially leading to gangrene or septicaemia (infection of the blood). The usual treatment is a course of antibiotics.
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