Cellulitis is an infection caused by bacteria. It affects the layers of the skin and the soft and fat tissues beneath the skin. People who are obese or have athletes foot or psoriasis are more likely to be infected with leg cellulitis. It is important to undertake leg cellulitis treatment immediately. Untreated cuts even small wounds where the skin is cut or open and dry or dirty is an ideal site for the bacteria. Prevention and management of bruises and cuts go a long way from contracting the infection. The following instances are also at high risk of contracting this infection:
- People who have poor circulation because of reduced mobility either due to age, physical disability, or obesity.
- People who have low immune system associated with other illness
- Long-term diabetes certainly triggers health complications and cellulitis could be one of the many.
- Those who are recovering from chemotherapy can also suffer from cellulitis.
The infected area generally turns red, swollen, warm, tender and painful. If caught early, cellulitis treatment is certainly a possibility. In case of mild infection, the treatment is an oral intake of antibiotics for 3-10 days depending on the size, location and medical condition of the patient. The patient is likely to show signs of improvement within 24 to 48 hours. Patients are advised to complete the course of the medication even if the infection subsides to prevent recurrent cellulitis. Warm compresses on the site of the wound can reduce the inflammation and relieve pain.
In case the infection does not subside and the patient continues to have a fever or the infected area has a lot of pus, doctors would recommend intravenous administration of antibiotics. The drainage of the abscess is done by surgical methods. To check if the bloodstream is infected, swab test from the wound is taken to identify the bacteria and treatment is done accordingly. Management of the wound will become crucial and further injury to the wound has to be prevented. Most patients are taught to dress and manage the wound. The skin has to be kept moist using creams.
The most commonly used antibiotic for leg cellulitis treatment is Penicillin. If the patient is not responding a combination of antibiotics is prescribed based on the patient’s history (In case the person has an immune deficiency disease or diabetics). Recurrent cellulitis is a cause for concern if holistic treatment is not done. In most cases, complications do not arise and the infection is contained. But if leg cellulitis treatment is not undertaken, the infection can reach the bloodstream and result in the loss of the leg or could even be life-threatening.