Subject: Cellulitis

What? The bacteria that cause the infection are streptococcus, staphylococcus and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus. (MRSA). These bacteria are commonly found on the surface of everyone’s skin. If you have a weakened immune system you are most at risk of developing cellulitis.

Why? History Symptoms are redness, red streaking, swelling, warmth, pain or tenderness, clear fluid or pus. It can cause fever, nausea and vomiting, swelling and numbness of infected area. treatment ranges depending on the progression of the disease from elevating and resting the affected area, over the counter medication like Tylenol or ibuprofen to antibiotics or surgery to drain any abscesses or cut away and dead tissue.

Where does it typically occur? Cellulitis can happen anywhere on the skin where there is a break in the skin. The bacteria enter the skin causing infection of the soft tissue.

When? Implications The break in the skin can be caused by injury that tears the skin, infections after surgery, eczema or psoriasis or foreign objects under the skin. You are at higher risk of contracting cellulitis if you have diabetes, poor circulation, liver diseases, skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. Bacteria can also enter through skin conditions like dermatitis, athlete’s foot, cracks in the skin or animal bites.

Who benefits from this? Another more serious outcome of cellulitis is the infection can damage lymph tissue causing the spread to the fascial lining (necrotizing fasciitis) which would require surgically removing the dead tissue. The bacteria responsible for cellulitis may be already on the client’s skin, it is important to use antiseptic on the client’s skin before and after procedures that may break the skin’s protective barrier like waxing where there may or may not be blood. In the case of extractions, high frequency can also kill bacteria that may spread to enter the body. Cleaning surfaces with hospital grade antibacterial product and using it on gloved hands between procedures can lower the risk of cross contamination.

What causes this? Standard/Universal Precautions assume that all blood and body fluids (including oil and perspiration) contains pathogens and can reduce the amount of incidents of cross contamination.

How? Solutions (Machine/Mechanical) Autoclaves can destroy all bacteria on a metal surface and should be used on metal instruments between uses on clients. Warm soapy water, antibacterial product and dry sterilizers can be used on implements that cannot go into an autoclave.

How? Solutions (Non Mechanical) Regular and conscientious use of antibacterial product on gloved hands and on hard surfaces can reduce the presents of bacteria that can live outside the body.

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