Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that affects the skin. This condition can become a real nuisance. Although most cases are minor, there is a possibility of serious complications.
In this article, we list the best options for healing cellulitis. We also provide the essential steps we need to take in order to prevent the recurrence of this infection.
The majority of cellulitis cases can be treated at home after a consultation by a doctor who will prescribe the appropriate drug(s).
The most common medication for cellulitis is antibiotics. The course of antibiotics usually lasts around 7-10 days.
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Overall, it is essential to complete this course. Also, a follow-up appointment will confirm if the infection is completely gone.
Hospital Treatment for Cellulitis
Serious cases of cellulitis can require hospital treatment. This may involve intravenous administration of medications.
Severe cases or individuals presenting signs of fast deterioration may require urgent hospital treatment.
Generally, these are cellulitis cases affecting large areas of skin. Sometimes, hospitalization is recommended in individuals with the altered immune system, or with underlying chronic conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes.
Surgery is a rare requirement.
There are self-treatment options that can ease the healing process for cellulitis. Research is expanding into the effectiveness of these options.
However, anecdotal experiences suggest that they can be helpful. In general, the first priority is rest and adequate nutrition. Adequate nutrition extends to the maintenance of a balanced microbiome via clever use of prebiotics and probiotics. This way, your body can fight off the infection better, and more efficiently.
Common-sense measures can help speed up the healing and reduce the symptoms. For example, if the infection affects a leg, it can be helpful to elevate it while sitting or lying in bed. This can reduce both swelling and pain.
Furthermore, you should drink plenty of water. Hydration allows the drugs to work better with less secondary effects, usually.
If necessary, you can also take pain medication, which is usually available in pharmacy over the counter. The skin takes a while to heal and a blister will usually peel off once healing is over.
Studies show there is a high rate of recurrence of cellulitis. Here are some of the steps to follow, to optimize the prevention of a recurrence.
The first step to prevent a recurrence is by completing the course of antibiotics according to doctor’s instructions.
The second step consists in the proper follow-up and management of underlying chronic conditions. This can include diabetes or skin conditions such as eczema. Poorly managed chronic diseases can make the prevention of cellulitis recurrences more difficult to achieve.
Additionally, you should keep excellent hygiene. This involves washing your skin rigorously. It also means keeping your clothes clean.
You can definitely strengthen your immune system. This can be done by following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables specifically those rich in prebiotics.
Vitamins and minerals can help boost your immune system and by the same token prevent a recurrence.
You can also try looking at some alternative options such as naturopathic remedies, which can be useful for prevention.
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Medically reviewed by Dr. Thouria Bensaoula on Sept 26, 2019.
Last article update: 9/28/2019