How to Treat Cellulitis Infection

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Cellulitis is a skin infection that starts from a simple cut or scrape. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, cellulitis is usually caused by bacteria, either streptococcus or Staphylococcus aureus through a skin injury. Treat a cellulitis infection by seeking medical care right away. A doctor will give you medicine that targets the cellulitis. If cellulitis is not treated promptly, in some severe cases it spreads to your lymph nodes, which are bean-shaped tissues that make up your immune system.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibiotics
  • Pain medicine
  • Bandages
  • Observe symptoms of cellulitis, such as swelling, redness, a fever with a rash or skin that is warm to the touch. Seek medical attention right away. If the symptoms are severe, go to the emergency room at your local hospital.

  • Go to the doctor for a physical examination and blood tests to determine whether you have cellulitis and what the exact cause is. The doctor checks your skin, especially areas where you have cuts or fungus, such as athlete's foot.

  • Take a prescribed oral or topical antibiotic that treats cellulitis infections. Complete the entire course of antibiotics. It is important to take every pill at the designated time in order for the treatment to be successful. Pain relievers may also be used for the pain caused by the cellulitis.

  • Raise the infected areas, such as your arms or legs. This eases the pain. Apply cool, wet bandages on the areas, too. Wait a few days to get better.

  • Go to the hospital if your cellulitis symptoms are not better in a few days. Some severe cases of cellulitis need antibiotics administered intravenously through the veins.

  • Undergo surgery to drain any infected tissue if your cellulitis is resistant to antibiotics. If it spreads to your lymph nodes, they are drained. Dead tissue is also to be removed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vitamin C and E may help your skin heal faster if you have cellulitis. Zinc and a probiotic supplement is also recommended.
  • Prevent cellulitis by washing cuts and scraps with soap and water. Use antibiotic cream and cover with a bandage. Change the bandage daily.
  • Patients with diabetes or circulatory problems should check hands and feet daily for cuts.
  • Tell your medical practitioner what herbs and other drugs you are currently taking to prevent any drug interactions with the antibiotics used to treat cellulitis.
  • Cellulitis spreads quickly so seek medical attention straight away.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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