Periorbital cellulitis is an infection of the eyelid or skin around the eye.
Periorbital cellulitis can occur at any age, but more commonly affects children younger than 5 years old.
This infection can occur after a scratch, injury, or bug bite around the eye, which allows germs to enter the wound. It can also extend from a nearby site that is infected, such as the sinuses.
Periorbital cellulitis is different than orbital cellulitis, which is an infection of the fat and muscles around the eye. Orbital cellulitis is a dangerous infection, which can cause lasting problems and deeper infections.
This condition does not often affect vision or cause eye pain.
Antibiotics are given by mouth, by shots, or through a vein (intravenously; IV) to help fight the infection.
Periorbital cellulitis almost always improves with treatment. In rare cases, the infection spreads into the eye socket, resulting in orbital cellulitis.
Call your provider right away if:
Durand ML. Periocular infections. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 116.
Olitsky SE, Marsh JD, Jackson MA. Orbital infections. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 652.