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Cellulitis treatment

1-minute read

The main elements of cellulitis treatment are:

  • antibiotics
  • rest
  • elevating or raising the affected part
  • compression especially if lower limb

You may need painkillers. Some doctors will advise you to take anti-inflammatory tablets, and some will advise you to take steroids for a short time.

You may find that your doctor or nurse draws on your skin to outline the site of the cellulitis. That allows you to know whether the area affected is getting bigger or smaller.

Sometimes the type of antibiotic may need to be changed, and in more severe cases antibiotics may need to be given intravenously in hospital.

When you’re at home, try placing a cool, damp cloth on the affected area as often as you need to reduce the discomfort. Keep the affected limb raised and talk to your doctor about whether you need compression stockings.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about cellulitis.

Sources:

Cochrane Review (Interventions for cellulitis and erysipelas), BMJ (Clinical Review - Diagnosis and management of cellulitis), Mayo Clinic (Cellulitis)

Last reviewed: September 2018

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