According to my general medical doctor (who luckily has a lot of experience with this), it's essentially a cousin to the life-threatening and nasty flesh-eating bacteria and as I found out personally) can develop that way if one does not take care of it right away.
In my case, I caught my cellulitis back in October when I cut myself pretty nicely on my leg from one of those three-pronged sharp razors from (of all places) a Goodwill store. I thought I had things under control when I eventually got really sick a few days later and then had a very difficult time walking. In addition (and this is one of the signs to look for), my lower right leg (which it was found) was very red, swollen and felt pretty hot. At the time this happened, I really didn't know what it was and neither did my mom until she did some research online to find out what was going on. Once she did, we decided to get my fever down first and then go to the ER. It was there that I started seeing what looked like an artery come out on my thigh and it was getting more painful to walk. I was then admitted to the hospital for a few days and given Vancomyacin, Heparin (to prevent blood clots), and a few other things on the first day as a precaution and in case anything got worse.
It was the first time for me to be in the hospital. To say I was scared is a complete understatement. In general I don't really like going to hospitals as it is, so add on the idea of going to the hospital and being admitted and it was not fun. I had so many people come and ask me questions 10x over to make sure I wasn't losing it or I wasn't insane. My leg during this time was becoming something like a science project.
When I saw my doctor finally about a day later, he stated that he too had it and got it from a mere mosquito bite and hot tub combination. He also described the feeling of a cellulitis issue perfectly: the feeling that your leg is going to explode from the inside. He was a pretty interesting guy and the doctor that no one knew if he was gonna show up or not to see you. Yeah, he kinda frustrated the nurses. However, my GP doctor was impressed by the notes he wrote and knew how good his reputation was. I also found out that there were other patients who were admitted for cellulitis as well.
In any event, I survived that ordeal, got outpatient treatment, went to my GP for a follow-up and was doing pretty well. That was...until recently when I got real sick and thought I was getting hit with it again...but this time it didn't look like before and I wanted to make sure of that. The only difference is that the nurse was a bit on the fatalistic side and freaked out, saying that I should go to a hospital and that it looks bad...and let's just say after the exchange between her and my retired nurse mom, I was ready to bust out of there. However, I did get a good amount of meds that I took like I did the last time, went to my GP again later on who said it all looked good, and right now it's so far so good.
So what I'm wondering how is how this damn cellulitis thing has become a thing? What have we been doing in our homes and environments to make it such a chronic and prevalent thing? Have we become to sterile, too dirty or what? Is there anything we can do to prevent this besides keeping our bodies healthy and our environment healthy? That's what I'd like to know.
So, having said that and asking the question, what are some things that I learned thus far with this (what can be a chronic condition if I'm not careful):
1. Once you get cellulitis you can be very susceptible to it again.
2. Make sure you find a doctor who knows what it is and how to treat it (D.O.s are good for that).
3. Never buy razors from a place like Goodwill that sells them new.
4. Be careful where you cut or scratch, these days bacteria is all around us and it can be a nasty mofo.
5. It's more common than you think.
6. There should be a support group and research on cellulitis so we can learn more.