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Cellulitis: Etiology and Pathology (Pediatric Nursing)

by Paula Ruedebusch

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    00:00 Now let's cover cellulitis. This is a bacterial infection of the inner layers of the skin.

    00:07 It affects the dermis and the subcutaneous fat. It tends to spread and it is usually painful.

    00:14 The legs and the face are common sites and the most common bacterial causes are Strep and Staph. We treat this with antibiotics. Remember humans are covered in billions of bacteria.

    00:27 This is our normal flora and it belongs on the outside of our skin. When there's a skin breakdown, this allows the bacteria to enter and remember the break does not need to be visible. The most common causes are group A Strep and Staph. So there are some predisposing factors for cellulitis. Patients who get insect or animal bites; patients who get tattoos, if they have an itchy skin rash because they're going to be excoriating that skin; patients with recent surgery because they have a surgical wound; patients with athlete's foot because this fungal infection causes a breakdown in the skin; eczema, this is a drying that causes a breakdown in the skin; patients who use injection or IV drugs; pregnant patients; patients with diabetes mellitus as their immune system is also compromised; and patients with burns or boils. So, cellulitis. This is when bacteria enters through your skin's protective barrier. Remember your skin should be intact. Once inside, this bacteria will spread rapidly into the deeper layers of the skin and it can also enter the lymph nodes and the bloodstream. The patient can become septic. There are 2 types, there is purulent and non-purulent. Purulent, we'll cover this first.

    01:43 This is associated with drainage or exudate and this is when the patient comes in to the office, they might currently have a draining wound or they'll tell me by history that, you know, 2 days ago there was drainage coming out of their wound and that's their history. And there may or may not be a drainable abscess. The other type is non-purulent cellulitis and this type has no drainage, no exudate, and no abscess. So, what is an abscess? This is a cavity that is filled with pus that results from the bacterial infection. Now your patient may just have an abscess or they may have an abscess with surrounding cellulitis.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Cellulitis: Etiology and Pathology (Pediatric Nursing) by Paula Ruedebusch is from the course Integumentary Disorders – Pediatric Nursing (Quiz Coming Soon).


    Author of lecture Cellulitis: Etiology and Pathology (Pediatric Nursing)

     Paula Ruedebusch

    Paula Ruedebusch


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