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cellulitis (sel″u-li�tis)   a diffuse inflammatory process within solid tissues, characterized by edema, redness, pain, and interference with function, usually caused by infection with streptococci, staphylococci, or similar organisms. It usually occurs in loose tissue beneath the skin, but may also occur in tissues under mucous membranes, around muscle bundles, or around other organs. Skin cellulitis is characterized by hot red patches with or without clearly defined borders and sometimes red streaks extending out, indicating that lymphatic vessels are infected.

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