When is a workup for cellulitis unnecessary?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Generally, no workup is required in uncomplicated cases of cellulitis that meet the following criteria:

  • Limited area of involvement

  • Minimal pain

  • No systemic signs of illness (eg, fever, chills, dehydration, altered mental status, tachypnea, tachycardia, hypotension)

  • No risk factors for serious illness (eg, extremes of age, general debility, immunocompromised status)

Because the bacterial etiology of cellulitis in typical cases is expected to represent streptococcal and, less commonly, staphylococcal infection, additional procedures are also usually unnecessary. However, in more severe disease or unique clinical scenarios, additional procedures may be indicated.

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