What types of cellulitis are commonly found in specific age groups?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Certain age groups are at higher risk in some unique scenarios, such as the following:

  • Historically, buccal cellulitis caused by H influenzae type B was more common in children younger than 3 years; vaccination against this organism may have decreased the incidence of buccal cellulitis, but recent data suggest that this source remains a consideration, even in vaccinated cohorts [25]

  • Facial cellulitis is more common in adults older than 50 years; however, pneumococcal facial cellulitis occurs primarily in young children who are at risk for pneumococcal bacteremia [26, 49]

  • Perianal cellulitis, usually with group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus (GABHS), occurs in children younger than 3 years [50]

  • Elderly patients with cellulitis are predisposed to thrombophlebitis

A study of an insurance database in Utah found an incidence rate of 24.6 cases per 1000 person-years. [46] The incidence was noted to be higher in males and in those individuals aged 45-64 years. [46] In a large epidemiologic hospital-based study on skin, soft-tissue, bone, and joint infections, 37.3% patients were identified as having cellulitis. [51]

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