Ravens Chris Chester hospitalized with skin infection

Baltimore Ravens starting right guard Chris Chester may be out of play for the next two week. The  27 year-old was hospitalized Thursday night for a skin infection called cellulitis.

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh reported that it would probably be at least two weeks before Chester can return to the lineup. “So he’s probably going to be a week or two until it can calm down,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll just have to see how he is…The fever is going down.They went back a second time and cleaned it out because his fever spiked.”

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deepest layer of the skin. The skin normally has many types of bacteria living on it. When there is a break in the skin, however, bacteria can enter the body and cause infection and inflammation. The skin tissues in the infected area become red, hot, irritated, and painful. Staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria are the most common causes of cellulitis. It is most common on the face (especially in children) and lower legs(in adults).

Risk factors for cellulitis include:

  • Cracks or peeling skin between the toes
  • History of peripheral vascular disease
  • Injury or trauma with a break in the skin (skin wounds)
  • Insect bites and stings, animal bites, or human bites
  • Ulcers from diabetes or a blockage in the blood supply (ischemia)
  • Use of corticosteroid medications or medications that suppress the immune system
  • Wound from a recent surgery

Signs of cellulitis include:

  • Area of skin redness or swelling that gets larger
  • Tight, glossy look to skin
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Skin rash that happens suddenly and grows quickly
  • Signs of infection including fever, chills and muscle aches

Cellulitis can be serious, and possibly even deadly, so prompt treatment is important. The goal of treatment is to control infection and prevent related problems. Treatment usually includes antibiotics, either orally or intravenously depending on the severity of the infection.

For more information about cellulitis, click here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.

Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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