Medical Matters: Cellulitis!

Living here, or vacationing here, we seem to be exposed to a big variety of skin “stuff”, from bites to rashes. People often send me photos of all kinds of their skin conditions, from pimples to sunburns, bites to rashes. I just never know what I will be opening with an email that says “see attached photo of this thing on my skin”.
Hopefully I am not eating anything at that time. Oftentimes this issue has become “cellulitis”. We asked our vascular specialist, Dr. Hector Escoto some questions about cellulitis. He is the physician who I learned a long time ago to send these patients to, with excellent resolution of the problem.

What is cellulitis? It is a common and potentially serious bacterial skin infection. It appears as a swollen, red area on the skin that feels hot and tender. The skin on the lower legs is most commonly affected, though it can occur anywhere on the body or face.

Is it dangerous? Left untreated, the spreading infection can rapidly turn life-threatening. It is important to seek medical attention if cellulitis symptoms occur.

How is it treated? Treatment usually includes a prescription of oral antibiotics to be taken for as long as the physician directs, usually five to ten days but possibly up to fourteen days.

Are some people more prone to have cellulitis? There are several factors that place one at a higher risk of developing cellulitis: Skin injury, weakened immune system, skin conditions such as eczema, athlete’s foot, chicken pox, shingles, chronic swelling of arms/legs (lymphedema), history of cellulitis, IV drug use.

Is there any prevention? To help prevent cellulitis and other infections, take these precautions when you have a skin wound: Wash the wound daily with soap and water. Apply a protective crème or ointment. Cover the wound with a bandage. Watch for signs of infection: redness, pain and drainage.

People with diabetes and those with poor circulation need to take extra precautions to prevent skin injuries. Good skin care measures include the following: Inspect your feet daily, moisturize your skin regularly, trim your fingernails and toenails carefully, protect your hands and feet, promptly treat infections on the skin’s surface (superficial), such as athlete’s foot.

Thank you Dr. Escoto! Dr. Hector Escoto attended school at the University of Guadalajara and performed his specialty in Cardiothoracic and Vascular surgery at Hospital Civil in Guadalajara. His main focus is to always make sure that he provides the very best medical attention to his patients and keeping updated in the newest medical treatments and surgical procedures. He says “There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a happy face on a patient when they have recovered their health.” We are so very proud to work with him.

So many people seem to have the “creeping’ crud” and self-diagnosing and self-medicating is running rampant. This is leading to many hospital admissions (pneumonia especially). Please folks, use some common sense! And for the love of everything holy, if you are sick please do not attend that cocktail party, that performance at a theater, that social gathering.

Stay home and rest. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

Have a sparkling week!

Pamela Thompson on Email
HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta is a multi-faceted, independent, resource network that is here for your TOTAL health and well-being. We offer English-speaking assistance to help find a physician, hospital and/or diagnostic service for any healthcare needs. As well, we are here to answer any health-related questions that you might have in relation to the Puerto Vallarta area.