Cellulitis and Other Skin Infections

Author: Helen Yasmin Sultan / Editor: Adrian Boyle / Reviewer: Sarah Hickin-Yacoub, Mehdi Teeli / Codes: O2 / Published: 15/02/2021


This session covers the cause, clinical features, treatment and management of impetigo, cellulitis, erysipelas and necrotising fasciitis.

After completing this session you will be able to:

  • Describe the clinical features that distinguish soft tissue infections
  • Outline the management of these conditions
  • Identify those infections that are life-threatening
  • Describe which treatments should be provided to patients with life-threatening infections
  • Describe the problem of drug resistant infections and how this changes management


  1. NICE, NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries. Impetigo [NICE CKS]. Last revised 2020.
  2. George A, Rubin G. A systematic review and meta-analysis of treatments for impetigo. Br J Gen Pract 2003;53:480-487.
  3. Koning S, Verhagen AP, van Suijlekom-Smit LWA et al. Interventions for impetigo. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2004:CD003261.
  4. Cole C, Gazewood J. Diagnosis and treatment of impetigo. Am Fam Physician 2007;75:859-864.
  5. Clinical Resource Efficiency Support Team. Guidelines on the management of cellulitis in adults. 2005; Belfast: CREST.
  6. Eron LJ, Lipsky BA. Use of cultures in cellulitis: when, how, and why? Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2006;25:615-617.
  7. Stevens DL, Bisno AL, Chambers HF et al. Practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of skin and soft-tissue infections. Clin Infect Dis 2005;41:1373-1406.
  8. Stanway A. Cellulitis. Hamilton: DermNet NZ, 2009.
  9. NICE, NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries, Cellulitis – acute [NICE CKS]. Last revised: 2019.
  10. British Lymphology Society and Lymphoedema Support Network. Consensus Document on the Management of Cellulitis in Lymphoedema. London: BLS, LSN. 2016
  11. Swartz MN. Cellulitis. N Eng J Med 2004;350:904-912.
  12. Su YC, Chen HW, Hong YC, Chen CT, Hsiao CT, Chen IC. Laboratory risk indicator for necrotising fasciitis score and the outcomes. ANZ J of Surgery 2008;78:968-972.
  13. NICE, Scenario: Management of acute cellulitis [NICE CKS]. Last revised: 2019.
  14. Vijayakumar A, Pullagura R, Thimmappa D. Necrotizing Fasciitis: Diagnostic Challenges and Current Practices. ResearchGate. ISRN Infectious Diseases 2014(4):1-8.

Leave a Reply