What Does Mild Cellulitis Look Like?

What does cellulitis look like when it starts?

Cellulitis (sel-u-LIE-tis) is a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection.

The affected skin appears swollen and red and is typically painful and warm to the touch.

Cellulitis usually affects the skin on the lower legs, but it can occur in the face, arms and other areas..

What can be mistaken for cellulitis?

Many inflammatory dermatoses of the skin clinically mimic cellulitis (aka pseudocellulitis), leading to a misdiagnosis rate of 30% to 90%. Common mimickers of cellulitis include venous stasis dermatitis, lymphedema, deep venous thrombosis, gout, and contact dermatitis.

What happens if cellulitis goes untreated?

Most cases are treated effectively with antibiotics. Prompt treatment is key. If severe, or when left untreated, cellulitis can spread to your lymph nodes, bloodstream and deeper tissues, rapidly becoming life-threatening. Cellulitis usually develops in the lower legs, although it can occur in any area with skin.

Is cellulitis caused by poor hygiene?

Cellulitis cannot always be prevented, but the risk of developing cellulitis can be minimised by avoiding injury to the skin, maintain good hygiene and by managing skin conditions like tinea and eczema. A common cause of infection to the skin is via the fingernails.

How is mild cellulitis treated?

To care for cellulitis, you should:Rest the area.Elevate the area to ease swelling and discomfort.Use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease the pain, as well as keep your fever down.

When should I go to hospital for cellulitis?

When Cellulitis Becomes an Emergency If you notice any of the following symptoms, please treat them seriously and get urgent medical care: The red or tender area going numb. The reddened area becoming larger or hardening. A blackened area that feels tender, warm and swollen.

Can cellulitis turn into sepsis?

Cellulitis can trigger sepsis in some people. Sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning by members of the general public, sepsis is the body’s often deadly response to infection or injury.

Is it OK to shower with cellulitis?

You can shower or bathe normally and pat the area dry with a clean towel. You can use a bandage or gauze to protect the skin if needed. Do not use any antibiotic ointments or creams. Antibiotics — Most people with cellulitis are treated with an antibiotic that is taken by mouth for 5 to 14 days.

Does heat help cellulitis?

If you have mild cellulitis, you can usually treat it at home with antibiotics taken by mouth. However, keep in touch with your doctor to be sure that the infection is improving as expected. At home, warm compresses, such as a warm, moist washcloth, and elevating the infected area can help.

Is ice good for cellulitis?

In all cases elevation of the affected area (where possible) and bed rest is important. Measures such as cold packs and pain relieving medication may be used to reduce pain and discomfort. In rare cases: The bacteria that caused the cellulitis can spread to the bloodstream and travel throughout the body.

Will mild cellulitis heal on its own?

Cellulitis is a common infection that can occur when bacteria enters your body through a cut or scratch on your skin. The infected skin can become red, painful, tender, or swollen. Mild cellulitis goes away on its own or can be treated with antibiotics.

What triggers cellulitis?

Cellulitis is usually caused when bacteria enter a wound or area where there is no skin. The most common bacteria that cause cellulitis include: Group A ß – hemolytic streptococcus (Strep) Streptococcus pneumoniae (Strep)

How do you know if cellulitis is spreading?

See a doctor if you have symptoms of cellulitis. Seek medical attention immediately if the red area of the skin spreads quickly or you develop a fever or chills.

How do you know if cellulitis is getting worse?

However, worsening symptoms can also be a sign that a different antibiotic is necessary. Call your doctor if your pain increases or you notice the red area growing or becoming more swollen. You should also call your doctor if you develop a fever or other new symptoms.

What is the fastest way to get rid of cellulitis?

These include:Covering your wound. Properly covering the affected skin will help it heal and prevent irritation. … Keeping the area clean. … Elevating the affected area. … Applying a cool compress. … Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. … Treating any underlying conditions. … Taking all your antibiotics.

Does drinking water help cellulitis?

There are steps you can take at home to ease your symptoms and speed your recovery from cellulitis. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. If your leg is affected by cellulitis, keep it raised. This should make you feel more comfortable and help to reduce the swelling.

Should you massage cellulitis?

Massage to promote lymphatic drainage, may help prevent cellulitis (not be used during an active cellulitis infection).

What is the best treatment for cellulitis?

Usually, cellulitis is presumed to be due to staphylococci or streptococci infection and may be treated with cefazolin, cefuroxime, ceftriaxone, nafcillin, or oxacillin. Antimicrobial options in patients who are allergic to penicillin include clindamycin or vancomycin.