The main elements of cellulitis treatment are:
- 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. Make sure you take the right dose of your antibiotic at the right time, as prescribed by your doctor, and take the antibiotic for as long as your doctor tells you to.
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. Do not touch or rub the infected area.
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Last reviewed: September 2020