Condition 101 About Periorbital Cellulitis

What is the definition of Periorbital Cellulitis?

Periorbital cellulitis is an infection of the eyelid or skin around the eye.

What are the alternative names for Periorbital Cellulitis?

Preseptal cellulitis

What are the causes for Periorbital Cellulitis?

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.

What are the symptoms for Periorbital Cellulitis?

Symptoms include:

  • Redness around the eye or in the white part of the eye
  • Swelling of the eyelid, whites of eyes, and surrounding area

This condition does not often affect vision or cause eye pain.

What are the current treatments for Periorbital Cellulitis?

Antibiotics are given by mouth, by shots, or through a vein (intravenously; IV) to help fight the infection.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Periorbital Cellulitis?

Periorbital cellulitis almost always improves with treatment. In rare cases, the infection spreads into the eye socket, resulting in orbital cellulitis.

When should I contact a medical professional for Periorbital Cellulitis?

Call your provider right away if:

  • The eye becomes red or swollen
  • Symptoms get worse after treatment
  • Fever develops along with eye symptoms
  • It is difficult or painful to move the eye
  • The eye looks like it is sticking (bulging) out
  • There are vision changes


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.

Latest Advances On Periorbital Cellulitis

  • Condition: Subperiosteal Orbital Abscess caused by Acute Sinusitis
  • Journal: Lin chuang er bi yan hou tou jing wai ke za zhi = Journal of clinical otorhinolaryngology, head, and neck surgery
  • Treatment Used: Surgery
  • Number of Patients: 11
  • Published —
The study researched the outcomes of surgery in patients with acute sinusitis complicated with orbital subperiosteal abscess.
  • Condition: Periorbital Cellulitis Due to Sinus Infection
  • Journal: International forum of allergy & rhinology
  • Treatment Used: Various
  • Number of Patients: 98
  • Published —
In this study, researchers sought to determine the best treatments for periorbital cellulitis due to a sinus infection.

Clinical Trials For Periorbital Cellulitis

Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Behavioral
  • Participants: 700
  • Start Date: April 1, 2019
Patient Safety Learning Laboratory: Improving Safety of Diagnosis and Therapy in the Inpatient Setting