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Cellulitis and skin abscess in adults: Treatment

Denis Spelman, MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA, MPH
Larry M Baddour, MD, FIDSA
Section Editor
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Patients with skin and soft tissue infection may present with cellulitis, abscess, or both [1-4].

Treatment of cellulitis and skin abscess are reviewed here. Issues related to clinical manifestations and diagnosis of cellulitis and abscess are discussed separately. (See "Cellulitis and skin abscess: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis".)

Issues related to skin and soft tissue infections associated with specific epidemiologic factors (such as diabetes, animal bites, and water exposure) are discussed separately. (See "Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of diabetic infections of the lower extremities" and "Soft tissue infections following water exposure" and "Soft tissue infections due to dog and cat bites" and "Soft tissue infections due to human bites".)

Issues related to infection involving the gluteal area and perineum are discussed separately. (See "Perianal and perirectal abscess" and "Intergluteal pilonidal disease: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis".)


The approach to management of skin and soft tissue infection depends on the nature of the clinical presentation:


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Literature review current through: May 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 15, 2017.
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