Cellulitis in Kids

What is cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and underlying tissues.

What are the types and causes of cellulitis that affects the eye?

  • Preseptal Cellulitis - the infection affects the eyelid. Causes can include bug bite, trauma, chalazion or hordeolum/stye.
  • Postseptal/Orbital Cellulitis - the infection affects the eyelid as well as tissues further back around the eye. The most common cause is a sinus infection. 

What are the symptoms of cellulitis?

  • Preseptal cellulitis
  • Eyelid swelling
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Drainage
  • Postseptal/Orbital cellulitis
  • Symptoms associated with preseptal cellulitis
  • Pain with eye movement
  • Decreased vision

How is cellulitis diagnosed?

Cellulitis is typically diagnosed following a complete history and eye examination. If there is concern for postseptal/orbital cellulitis, then a CT scan may be needed.

What is the treatment for cellulitis?

  • Preseptal Cellulitis - Oral antibiotics.
  • Postseptal/Orbital Cellulitis - Intravenous antibiotics. Surgery is sometimes needed if an abscess has formed.