Cellulitis on Vagina, Labia, Vulva, Penile, Scrotum & Groin Area: Treatment

Cellulitis mostly develops on the lower legs, face, eyes and arms. It may also occur in the genitals and groin area. Young people are most commonly affected. This type of cellulitis in infants is very rare. It is important that patients be familiar with symptoms of this infection. This is because several other conditions can exhibit almost identical signs. Cellulitis develops in soft skin tissues located under the epidermis. It is for this reason that it is considered not contagious. The epidermis bars bacteria from being spread to another person.

Staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria are the common culprits. Other microbes may also cause the infection or encourage it. People with weakened immune systems are more predisposed to this issue. Common signs include redness and swelling that may spread fast. Affected areas do not form defined borders. In some cases, there will be ulceration or blistering which may cause bleeding.

Treatment done with antibiotics is in almost all cases successful. Some complications such as blood poisoning can occur if cellulitis is left for long without treatment. Patients are advised to not wholly treat cellulitis of the genitals at home.

Labia cellulitis causes, symptoms and treatments

Cellulitis labia symptoms can appear on the labia majora or labia minora, and sometimes both. Most patients will experience swelling and redness. Affected areas may also feel warm, tender and tight. Close observation may reveal mild orange peeling or red spots on the swollen areas. If left untreated, red streaks may develop towards the heart. The affected area may also turn black as a result of necrosis.

Staphylococcus bacteria are usually the cause of labia cellulitis. The bacteria gain access into the skin through cracks, ulcers and other forms of skin injury. They can also be introduced into the skin by foreign objects or insect bites.

Doctors diagnose cellulitis on the labia by physically examining the patient. Here, information on the patient’s medical history and the nature of symptoms will be required. Blood tests and fluid cultures may be taken to confirm diagnosis. After diagnosis, treatment is done with oral antibiotics. Improvements should kick in within 48 after first dosage. If this doesn’t happen, check with your doctor. The cellulitis may be resulting from a type of staph bacteria that doesn’t respond to some antibiotics. Topical agents containing antibiotics such as bacitracin and neomycin may help prevent possible spread of infection to a sexual partner. Neomycin can cause irritation when used for a long time on sensitive skin.

Vulvar cellulitis causes, symptoms and treatments

Cellulitis can develop under the skin on one or multiple parts that make up the vulva. In most cases, staph bacteria will be the cause. The bacteria can enter through openings on the skin, bites, surgeries or foreign objects. In some cases, cellulitis can develop as an extension of vaginal cellulitis.

Symptoms are almost identical to those of cellulitis on the labia. Affected areas will swell and become red. They also may feel warm, painful, tender and tight to the touch.

Treatment is done with oral antibiotics. If improvements don’t set in within 48 hours, intravenous antibiotics will be considered. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications may be considered for severe infection.

Vaginal cellulitis symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention

Symptoms

Vaginal cellulitis can cause intolerable pain. Swelling and redness are its usual signs. Others may include warmth, tenderness and pressure in the vagina. The mucosal membrane that lines the vagina is soft and delicate. Swelling may therefore result in ulceration or blistering. This in turn will likely cause vaginal discharge, bleeding and pain especially during penetration. Vaginal cellulitis is likely to spread more rapidly. Signs of spreading infection include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and red streaking.

Causes

Both staph and strep bacteria can be responsible for cellulitis in the vagina. In fact, other types of pathogens may be causing the infection. Bacteria are introduced to the vagina in two main ways:

  • Skin injuries – forms of injuries such as blisters, sores and wounds are perfect entry points for bacteria. Other sources include surgical operations, foreign objects and insect or animal bites. Staph bacteria are usually spread this way.
  • Spread through blood – strep bacteria from elsewhere in the body can spread to the vagina through a process known as hemolysis. This is where red blood cells rapture and release their contents. It is therefore possible for vaginal cellulitis to appear after facial cellulitis symptoms. This is because strep bacteria are responsible for two thirds of all facial cellulitis cases.

Treatments

Treatment is best done with antibiotics. It is always likely that MRSA will be responsible for the infection. Doctors therefore usually give antibiotics that can fight these bacteria. The infection can take as many as 10 days to completely heal. Most symptoms will have disappeared within 3 days however. It is important that patients take all medications as directed by a doctor.

Cellulitis that doesn’t respond to oral medications is treated intravenously. To manage pain, your doctor may prescribe pain medications. You can also purchase pain management pills over the counter. Remember to keep checking for improvements in the signs even when not feeling pain.

Prevention

Below are some prevention tips which may help in short and long term treatment of vaginal cellulitis:

  • Always seek medical help – some antibiotics can be bought over the counter in form of topical agents. They should however not be depended on for complete treatment of cellulitis. Medical attention should be sought, where diagnosis will first be done to rule out other possible causes of vaginal swelling and redness.
  • Protect injured areas – any opening on the skin should be kept clean and as dry as possible. This is especially if it occurs in the genital region where bacteria are in abundance.
  • Manage chronic diseases – diseases like diabetes and HIV weaken the immune system. This makes it easy for harmful bacteria to invade from time to time. Advancements in medicine nowadays allow for patients to successful manage such diseases.
  • Try home treatments – home treatments such as warm compress and remedies such as turmeric may help prevent spread of infection as well as reduce swelling.

Cellulitis of the scrotum and penis

Cellulitis of the scrotum and penis is not common. In most cases, a rash in these areas results from other causes such as eczema and STDs.

Causes

Streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria are the main causes of scrotal and penile cellulitis. Strep bacteria usually migrate from elsewhere in the body through blood. As a result, cellulitis may develop without signs of skin injury on the scrotum or penis. This is especially true if orbital cellulitis symptoms are present. Staph bacteria on the other hand enter the skin thorough skin openings. Such can be caused by sores, ulcers or wounds. Recent surgeries, foreign objects and animal or insect bites may also introduce bacteria into scrotal or penile skin.

Symptoms

A cellulitis infection is usually characterized by a rash that may rapidly spread if not treated. The affected area will turn red and swell. The area will feel warm, tender and tightened to the touch. There may be signs of ulceration or mild orange peeling. Sometimes, cellulitis may be itchy. Red spots will sometimes occur on the swollen area.

Systematic symptoms develop once infection has been left untreated. They may include fever, chills, headaches, red streaking and swelling of lymph nodes. If the affected skin turns black, it means that bacteria are producing toxins that end up killing surrounding tissues.

Diagnosis

Since the genital region is prone to many conditions, diagnosis is usually very necessary. A doctor will first examine the patient by checking for typical signs of cellulitis. Putting this together with the patient’s medical history and symptoms, diagnosis may be confirmed. Other tests may include:

  • Blood test – a blood test is used to identify the nature of pathogen responsible causing the infection. It can also be used to document the number of white blood cells present in blood. During infections, there are more white blood cells. A blood test may be taken alongside a urine test to rule out urinary tract infections.
  • Fluid cultures – fluid collected from affected area is taken to the lab for examination. It helps identify the microorganism causing the infection.
  • Imaging tests – imaging tests are helpful in various ways. Pictures and images taken reveal extent of infection, presence of blood clots or foreign objects and abscess.

Treatment

Treatment can be done with:

  • Antibiotics – these are the main treatment options for penile and scrotal cellulitis. Most patients recover completely with oral medications taken in a course of 7 days. This period may extend depending on severity of infection. If oral antibiotics are unresponsive, IV antibiotics will be given. Patients will be admitted for not more than 3 days in this case. See your doctor if oral medications don’t produce desired effects in the first 2 days. Full cellulitis healing stages usually take around 10 days. Follow-up appointments may be necessary to prevent recurrence.
  • Pain medications – since penile cellulitis can be very painful, pain medications may be prescribed. Similar medications can be bought over the counter.
  • Steroids – steroids are medications given to reduce swelling. Their use should be directed by a doctor. This is especially if you are on other medications.
  • Surgery – surgery is not always considered for cellulitis treatment. It becomes necessary when there is need to drain a cellulitis abscess or cut out dead tissue.

Cellulitis groin causes, symptoms and treatments

Causes

Cellulitis in the groin area occurs either as a complication of a localized infection or primary infection in the area.

Lymph nodes in the groin filter blood from the lower parts of the body. A localized infection from any of these parts may cause the nodes to swell. For example, systematic cellulitis ankle symptoms will almost always include swollen lymph nodes. Swelling can occur before or after signs have manifested on the skin.

The skin around groin area can like any other part of the skin become infected with cellulitis bacteria. This mostly happens when there is a form of injury to allow bacterial entry. Infected insect bite cellulitis can also develop in the groin area.

Symptoms

Swollen lymph nodes caused by a localized infection will be felt as small tender lumps in the groin. When severely swollen, they will cause pain. There will also be an infection or a wound somewhere in lower body.

If cellulitis groin symptoms are resulting from an infection in the skin around groin area, the affected part will become red, swollen, tender and warm. Systematic symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting and headaches may also occur. Spreading infection usually causes red streaks which spread towards the heart.

Treatment

Lymph nodes swell because they are involved in the hard work of filtering loads of pathogens from the blood. Once medications have been taken to fight off the pathogens, the nodes will return to their normal sizes.

Antibiotics such as Cipro for cellulitis will be primarily used to treat cellulitis in the groin area. This is regardless of whether it is being caused by a localized infection or a distant one.

Home treatments, prognosis, complications and prevention

Home treatments

Cellulitis home treatments such as resting and using a warm compress may help. Topical antibiotics can be used for mild cases and to prevent possible spread. You can also try remedies such as tea tree oil and essential oils for cellulitis. When using essential oils, always make sure to dilute with carrier oil. The genital region can easily be irritated by even slightly harsh products. Home remedies are more encouraged for treatment of cellulitis of the foot.

Prognosis

More than 95% of all cellulitis in genitals and groin area patients will recover fully and without complications. This is especially when treatment is started early and done in the right fashion.

Complications

The main complications of cellulitis in the genitals include spreading to the urinary tract, formation of an abscess, necrosis and blood poisoning. Abscesses are pockets filled with pus and other forms of fluid. They are quite painful and usually require surgery. Necrosis is when bacteria release toxins and destroy surrounding tissues. Blood poisoning occurs when many bacteria are present in the blood. They release toxins which poison the blood.

Prevention

Prevention can be done in a number of ways. Main preventive measures should aim to keep bacteria from entering the skin. This can achieved by covering wounds, keeping injured skin areas dry and clean as well as using topical agents to prevent spread. It is also important that early treatment be sought. Individuals diagnosed with chronic diseases or conditions will find it helpful to talk to their doctors on how the diseases can be managed.

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