Signs that you have cellulitis

People often regard mosquitos as being the most annoying insects on the planet. Not only do they bite you, make annoying high pitch noises and suck your blood, they also help spread diseases and infections.

Cellulitis can be inflicted through a simple bite on the skin and it usually appears as red, painful rashes. Without medical attention, this infection can spread throughout the body and could become life-threatening.

What is cellulitis?

Contrary to the name, cellulitis has nothing to do with cellulite. It’s a bacterial infection beneath the skinwhich spreads quickly. It often appears as a swollen, red area that’s warm to the touch. The good news is that it’s not contagious.

This infection usually occurs when bacteria enters broken or normal skin through an insect bite or a cut. The most common bacteria culprits are staphylococcus aureus (golden staph) and group A beta-haemolytic streptococcus.

Your lower legs are usually affected, although it is possible for the infection to appear anywhere on your face and body. Experts at House Call Doctor say cellulitis can affect anyone at any age however, you are more at risk if you have diabetes, poor circulation or smoke.

Symptoms of cellulitis:

These symptoms can vary from mild to severe:

  • Red skin
  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Tenderness or pain in the skin
  • Leaking or weeping of clear yellow fluid or pus.

If you’re suffering from drowsiness, lethargy, blistering or have red streaks on your skin, these are signs that the cellulitis is spreading.You should be seen by a doctor immediately.

How to treat cellulitis?

Often oral antibiotics are prescribed by doctors to be used to treat the infected area. How long you’re on antibiotics depends on the severity of the infection. Even if it appears as though the symptoms are improving, it is recommended that you finish your prescribed medication.

While recovering from cellulitis, it is suggested you:

  • Rest: So that your body can fight the infection.
  • Take pain medication: Taking the recommended does of pain killers such as paracetamol will help ease discomfort.
  • Elevate your leg: This will ease pain, reduce swelling and help with drainage.

It is important if you’re not admitted to hospital that you follow up with your doctor within two days. This is to make sure the cellulitis is improving and isn’t becoming more severe.

Peter Simpson

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