Periorbital Cellulitis

Redness around the Eye


Periorbital Cellulitis

Cellulitis means inflammation of the soft tissues, often due to infection.
Periorbital cellulitis is an infection of the skin around the eye. Typically, it is different from blepharitis which is an infection of just the eyelid.

Most often, periorbital cellulitis follows a cold, sinus infection, an eye infection such as a chalazion or stye, an infection of the tear drainage channels, or injury or recent surgery near the eye.

It differs from orbital cellulitis which is an infection affecting the fat and muscles within the orbit, typically lying deep to the orbital septum and most often due to underlying bacterial sinusitis.


Symptoms of Periorbital Cellulitis include the following:

Redness and often swelling around the eye

Warm skin

Weepy eye

Red eye

Pain in the eye

Pain on eye movements

Double vision

Droopy eyelids

Changes in vision are usually associated with a deeper underlying infection such as orbital cellulitis. These are often also associated with fever.



Treatment includes antibiotics, which may or may not be intravenous.

Surgical drainage may be required depending on the origin of the infection as on occasion this may stem from the sinuses and can lead to orbital cellulitis which is a more clinically severe condition.

Periorbital Cellulitis is deemed a medical emergency and if you have any of the symptoms we recommend that you seek urgent medical advice. 

Article written by Dr Aleesha Dhillon
Disclaimer: This article is solely for information purposes. It is not to replace a consultation with a qualified health professional. It should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. The article is based on the opinions of the author who retains copyright. You are advised to make your own health decisions based on your research and alongside a qualified health professional. Please consult a doctor if you have any health concerns.


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