cellulitis icd 10

(2022) How To Code Cellulitis ICD 10 – Codes & Guidelines

Cellulitis ICD 10 coding is made easier with our billing guidelines. This article includes all medical codes you will need to report cellulitis and related specific codes, such as periorbital cellulitis and sepsis secondary to cellulitis.

Read on to get a summary of the necessary codes followed by a further description.

What Is Cellulitis?

The term cellulitis is commonly used to indicate an inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues, usually due to acute bacterial infection.

The affected skin appears swollen and red and is typically tender and warm to the touch ( representing the four cardinal signs of inflammation). 

Cellulitis usually affects the skin on the lower legs, but it can occur in the face, arms, and other areas. It appears when a breach in the skin allows bacteria to enter.

Possible signs and symptoms of cellulitis include:

The red area of skin that tends to expand

Swelling

Tenderness

Pain

Warmth

Fever

Red spots

Blisters

Skin dimpling

Cellulitis is usually caused by bacteria infection of the skin, most commonly streptococcus and staphylococcus. 

Some of the risk factors for cellulitis development include:

Injury.

Weakened immune system.

Dermatological disorders. Conditions such as eczema, athlete’s foot, and shingles can cause breaks in the skin, which give bacteria an entry point.

Chronic swelling of your arms or legs (lymphedema). 

History of cellulitis. Having had cellulitis before makes you prone to develop it again.

Obesity. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing cellulitis, as fat usually serves as a good food source for bacteria. 

The treatment of cellulitis involves the administration of antibiotics and, sometimes, drainage of the site. 

Cellulitis ICD 10 

The code for cellulitis in the ICD 10 book is L03 which is for cellulitis and acute lymphangitis. 

To select the specific code for cellulitis in the ICD 10 book, the following steps are followed; 

It is located in chapter XII, the chapter for Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue coded as (L00-L99). 

It is situated under block L00-L08 which codes for skin and subcutaneous tissue infections.

The categories under this block include: 

 L00 – Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome

 L01 – Impetigo

 L02 – Cutaneous abscess, furuncle, and carbuncle. 

 L03 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis 

 L04 – Acute lymphadenitis

 L05 – Pilonidal cyst and sinus

 L08 – Other local infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. 

Under the category L03, which codes for cellulitis, we have the following subcategories:

L03.0 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of finger and toe

L03.1 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of other parts of the limb

L03.2 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of face and neck

L03.3 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of trunk

L03.8 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of other sites

L03.9 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis, unspecified

The subcode for (L03.0) Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of finger and toe include:

L03.01 – Cellulitis of finger

L03.02 – Acute lymphangitis of finger 

L03.03 – Cellulitis of toe

L03.04 – Acute lymphangitis of toe

The subcode for (L03.1) Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of other parts of the limb include:

L03.11 – Cellulitis of other parts of the limb

L03.12 – Acute lymphangitis of other parts of the limb

The subcode for cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of the face and neck (L03.2) include:

L03.21 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of face

L03.22 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of neck

The subcode for cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of the trunk (L03.3) include:

L03.31 – Cellulitis of trunk

L03.32 – Acute lymphangitis of trunk

The subcode for cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of other sites (L03.8) include:

L03.81 – Cellulitis of other sites

L03.89 – Acute lymphangitis of other sites

The subcode for cellulitis and acute lymphangitis, unspecified (L03.9), include: 

L03.90 – Cellulitis, unspecified. 

L03.91 – Acute lymphangitis, unspecified. 

Depending on which sites the cellulitis is located will determine the particular code selected for the disorder. 

icd 10 cellulitis

Left Leg Cellulitis ICD 10

The code for left leg cellulitis is L03.116.

Cellulitis of other parts of the limb coded as L03.11 include the following:

L03.111 – Cellulitis of right axilla

L03.112 – Cellulitis of left axilla

L03.113 – Cellulitis of right upper limb

L03.114 – Cellulitis of left upper limb

L03.115 – Cellulitis of right lower limb

L03.116 – Cellulitis of left lower limb

L03.119 – Cellulitis of unspecified part of the limb

Cellulitis of the fingers and toes is coded under L03.0, while any cellulitis of the limbs not located in the fingers or toes will be coded as L03.11, with L03.116 coding for that of the left lower limb. 

Left Foot Cellulitis ICD 10

The code for left foot cellulitis is L03.116. 

Right Leg Cellulitis ICD 10

The code for right leg Cellulitis is L03.115. See above. 

Cellulitis Of The Right Foot ICD 10

The code for right foot cellulitis is L03.115.

Cellulitis Leg ICD 10

The code for cellulitis of the toes is L03.03, while the code for cellulitis of other parts of the limb is coded as L03.11.

Facial Cellulitis ICD 10 

The code for facial cellulitis is L03.211. 

This can be found under the category L03.21, which codes for cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of the face.

The subcategories under this category include: 

 L03.211 – Cellulitis of the face. 

 L03.212 – Acute lymphangitis of the face.

 L03.213 – Periorbital cellulitis.

icd 10 code for cellulitis left leg

Preseptal Cellulitis ICD 10

Preseptal cellulitis (sometimes called periorbital cellulitis) is an infection of the anterior portion of the eyelid, not involving the orbit or other ocular structures.

In contrast, orbital cellulitis is an infection involving the contents of the orbit (fat and ocular muscles) but not the globe. 

The code for preseptal cellulitis (periorbital cellulitis) is L03.213.

Abdominal Wall Cellulitis ICD 10

The code for abdominal wall cellulitis is L03.311. 

It is found in the category L03.3, which codes for cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of the trunk. 

The subcategory in this category include:

L03.31 – Cellulitis of trunk

L03.311 – Cellulitis of the abdominal wall

L03.312 – Cellulitis of back [any part except buttock

L03.313 – Cellulitis of the chest wall

L03.314 – Cellulitis of groin

L03.315 – Cellulitis of the perineum

L03.316 – Cellulitis of umbilicus

L03.317 – Cellulitis of buttock

L03.319 – Cellulitis of the trunk, unspecified

Cellulitis Lower Extremity ICD 10

The ICD 10 code for cellulitis of the toes is L03.03, while the ICD 10 code for cellulitis of other parts of the limb is coded as L03.11.

Periorbital Cellulitis ICD 10 

The ICD 10 code for preseptal cellulitis (periorbital cellulitis) is L03.213.

Cellulitis Left Arm ICD 10

The ICD 10 code for cellulitis of the left arm is L03.114. It is located under cellulitis of other limb parts coded as L03.11.

icd 10 code for cellulitis

Cellulitis Right Hand ICD 10

The code for cellulitis of the right hand is L03.113, the code for cellulitis of the right upper limb. 

Cellulitis Toe ICD 10

Cellulitis of the toe is coded as L03.03 in the ICD 10 book. The sub-codes under this include: 

L03.031 – Cellulitis of right toe

L03.032 – Cellulitis of left toe

L03.039 – Cellulitis of unspecified toe

Cellulitis Buttock ICD 10

The code for cellulitis of the buttock is L03.317. 

It can be found under the subcategory L03.31, which codes for cellulitis of the trunk. 

The sub-codes under this category include:

L03.311 – Cellulitis of the abdominal wall.

L03.312 – Cellulitis of back [any part except buttock]

L03.313 – Cellulitis of the chest wall

L03.314 – Cellulitis of the groin.

L03.315 – Cellulitis of the perineum.

L03.316 – Cellulitis of umbilicus.

L03.317 – Cellulitis of buttock.

L03.319 – Cellulitis of the trunk, unspecified. 

Cellulitis Left Hand ICD 10

The code for general cellulitis of the left hand is L03.114 (Cellulitis of the left upper limb).

ICD 10 Code For Scrotal Cellulitis

N49.2 is a billable ICD code used to specify a diagnosis of inflammatory disorders of the scrotum.

A ‘billable code’ is detailed enough to be used to determine a medical diagnosis.

These inflammatory disorders of the scrotum include abscess, cellulitis, nodular inflammation, opportunistic inflammations. 

The code is located in chapter XIV, the chapter for Diseases of the genitourinary system (N00–N99), under the block Diseases of male genital organs (N40-N53), and the category Inflammatory disorders of male genital organs N49. 

Breast Cellulitis ICD 10

Cellulitis of the breast will be coded as L03.313, which is the code for cellulitis of the chest wall. 

Inflammatory disorders of the breast are coded in another chapter (chapter XIV) as  N61; however, this refers to  N61.0 – Mastitis without abscess and N61.1 – Abscess of the breast and nipple, and not cellulitis. 

Cellulitis Neck ICD 10

The code for cellulitis of the neck is L03.221. 

It can be found in the subcategory of L03.2 – Cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of the face and neck.

Selecting L03.21 which codes for cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of the face, under which L03.22 codes for cellulitis and acute lymphangitis of the neck. 

The specific code  L03.221 of Cellulitis of the neck can then be selected. 

Cellulitis Finger ICD 10

The code for cellulitis of the finger is L03.01. 

The following subcodes are located under this heading. 

L03.011 – Cellulitis of right finger

L03.012 – Cellulitis of left finger

L03.019 – Cellulitis of unspecified finger

left leg cellulitis icd 10

Cellulitis Of Groin ICD 10

The code for cellulitis of the groin is L03.314

It is located under the category cellulitis of the trunk coded as L03.31. 

Cellulitis Scalp ICD 10

The code for cellulitis of the head (any part of the head except the face) is L03.811. 

L03.811 is a billable code that can be used to indicate the diagnosis of cellulitis of the scalp for reimbursement purposes.

The 2022 edition of ICD-10-CM L03.811 became effective on October 1, 2021.

This code excludes the diagnosis of cellulitis of the face. 

Right Knee Cellulitis ICD 10

The code for cellulitis of the knee is L03.115 – Cellulitis of the right lower limb. 

Cellulitis Of The Nose ICD 10

This will be coded as L03.811 cellulitis of the head. 

Gum Cellulitis ICD 10 

The code for cellulitis of the Gum is K12.2 which is the code for cellulitis and abscess of the mouth. 

K12.2 is a billable/specific ICD 10 CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.

The 2022 edition of ICD 10 CM K12.2 became effective on October 1, 2021.

It is applicable for cellulitis of the mouth (floor) and submandibular abscess. 

Approximate synonyms:

Abscess of the buccal cavity (cheek)

Abscess of mouth

Abscess of oral tissue

Abscess of sublingual space

Abscess of submandibular region

Cellulitis of the floor of the mouth

Cellulitis of oral soft tissues

Cellulitis of submandibular region

Inflammation of uvula

Ludwig’s angina

Ludwig’s angina

Sublingual region abscess

Submandibular region abscess

Uvulitis

It can be located in chapter XI K00-K95 which codes for Diseases of the digestive system, the block K00-K14 Diseases of the oral cavity and salivary glands, and the category K12, the category of Stomatitis and related lesions. 

ICD 10 Cellulitis Left Thumb

The code for cellulitis of the left thumb is L03.012 (Cellulitis of the left finger).

Cellulitis Lower Back

The ICD 10 code for cellulitis of the lower back is L03.312 which is the code for cellulitis of the back [any part except buttock].

Left Wrist Cellulitis ICD 10

The code for left wrist cellulitis is L03.114 which codes for cellulitis of the left upper limb. 

Peritonsillar Cellulitis ICD 10

The code for peritonsillar cellulitis is J36.

J36 is a billable/specific ICD 10 CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.

The 2022 edition of ICD 10 CM J36 became effective on October 1, 2021.

Peritonsillar cellulitis/abscess is an accumulation of purulent material in the area between the palatine tonsil and its capsule.

It is located in chapter X J00-J99 Diseases of the respiratory system under the block J30-J39 Other diseases of the upper respiratory tract and the category J36- Peritonsillar abscess.

Sepsis Secondary To Cellulitis ICD 10

Sepsis secondary to cellulitis will be coded according to the causative organisms.

The code can be located in Chapter I Certain infectious and parasitic diseases (A00-B99) under the block A30-A49 Other bacterial diseases and category A41 Other sepsis.

The codes under this category include:

 A41.0 – Sepsis due to Staphylococcus aureus

 A41.1 – Sepsis due to other specified staphylococcus

 A41.2 – Sepsis due to unspecified staphylococcus

 A41.3 – Sepsis due to Hemophilus influenzae

 A41.4 – Sepsis due to anaerobes

 A41.5 – Sepsis due to other Gram-negative organisms

 A41.8 – Other specified sepsis

 A41.9 – Sepsis, unspecified organism

Chronic Cellulitis

The code for chronic cellulitis is L03.90.

Eye Cellulitis 

The code for eye cellulitis is L03.213, this is the code for Periorbital cellulitis. 

ICD 10 Code For Preseptal Cellulitis Of Right Upper Eyelid

This is coded as L03.213.

Right Thigh Cellulitis

The code for right thigh Cellulitis is L03.115 which is the code for cellulitis of the right lower limb. 

Right Thumb Cellulitis ICD 10

The code for cellulitis of the right thumb is L03.011 (Cellulitis of the right finger).

Cellulitis And Abscess Of Foot ICD 10

The ICD 10 code for Cutaneous abscess of the foot is  L02.41 which is the code for Cutaneous abscess of the limb.

At the same time, the code for cellulitis of the foot is L03.11 – Cellulitis of other parts of the limb.

Cellulitis Earlobe

The code for cellulitis of the earlobe is H60.1 (Cellulitis of external ear). 

It is a Non-Billable/Non-Specific Code.

H60.1 should not be used for reimbursement purposes as there are multiple codes below it that contain a greater level of detail.

The 2022 edition of ICD 10 CM H60.1 became effective on October 1, 2021.

It is located in chapter VIII H60-H95 Diseases of the ear and mastoid process under the block H60-H62 Diseases of the external ear and category H60- Otitis externa. 

Cellulitis Left Ankle

The code for cellulitis of the left ankle is L03.116 (Cellulitis of left lower limb).

Cellulitis Left Elbow

The code for cellulitis of the left elbow is L03.114 (Cellulitis of the left upper limb).

Cellulitis Of Ankle

The code for cellulitis of the ankle is L03.11 (Cellulitis of other parts of the limb).

Cellulitis Of Chest Wall

The code for cellulitis of the chest wall is L03.313.

Cellulitis Of Left Heel

The code for cellulitis of the left heel is L03.116 (cellulitis of the left lower limb). 

Cellulitis Of Left Little Finger

The code for cellulitis of the left little finger is L03.012 (Cellulitis of the left finger).

Cellulitis Of Right Ring Finger

The code for cellulitis of the right is L03.011 (Cellulitis of the right finger). 

Cellulitis Right Hip

The code for cellulitis of the right hip is L03.115 (Cellulitis of the right lower limb). 

Umbilical Cellulitis 

The code for cellulitis of the umbilicus is L03.316.

L03.316 is a billable/specific ICD 10 CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.

The 2022 edition of ICD 10 CM L03.316 became effective on October 1, 2021. 

Cellulitis ICD 11 Code 

The ICD 11 code for bacterial cellulitis can be found in chapter 01 of the ICD 11 book, Certain infectious or parasitic diseases 1A00-1H0Z.

Under the block Pyogenic bacterial infections of the skin or subcutaneous tissues (1B70-1B7Y).

The related sections/codes are: 

Bacterial cellulitis, erysipelas, or lymphangitis  (1B70)

Necrotizing fasciitis  (1B71)

Impetigo  (1B72)

Ecthyma  (1B73)

Superficial bacterial folliculitis  (1B74)

Deep bacterial folliculitis or pyogenic abscess of the skin  (1B75)

Other specified pyogenic bacterial infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue  (1B7Y)

The sections/codes under the section Bacterial cellulitis, erysipelas, or lymphangitis (1B70-1B70) include:

Erysipelas  (1B70.0)

Streptococcal cellulitis of skin  (1B70.1)

Staphylococcal cellulitis of skin  (1B70.2)

Ascending bacterial lymphangitis  (1B70.3)

Bacterial cellulitis or lymphangitis due to other specified bacterium  (1B70.Y)

Bacterial cellulitis or lymphangitis due to unspecified bacterium  (1B70.Z)

Specific codes for certain forms of cellulitis include:

Orbital cellulitis  (9A21.0)

Cellulitis of external ear (AA01)

Anal cellulitis  (DB70.00)

Vulvar cellulitis  (GA00.0)

Cellulitis of penis  (GB06)

Inflammatory disorders of scrotum  (GB07.2)

Perirectal cellulitis  (DB36.10)

Superficial incisional site infection  (NE81.20)

– Dr. Quazim Omisore,
Medical Professional & Coding Expert

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