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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Cellulitis

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Home Remedies
Overview

Cellulitis is a skin disease that affects the outer skin and soft tissues underneath. It is mostly caused by bacterial infections from the Staphylococci and Streptococci group. Cellulitis occurs when bacteria enter a break in the skin and spreads throughout the skin and into the soft tissues leading to inflammation. The most common site of infection is on the legs.

Symptoms
  • Redness or red streaks appear on skin
  • Swelling, pain or tenderness
  • Warmth
  • Leaking of yellow, clear fluid or pus
  • Fever, chills, numbness
  • Nausea or vomiting
Risk Factors
  • Bacteria
  • Skin injuries
  • Infections after surgery
  • Insect or spider bites
  • Bone infections underneath the skin (too much exposure of a deep, open wound that soft tissues and bone fragments can be seen)
  • Skin inflammations and other skin infections
  • Patients who are diabetic or have a weak immune system
  • Obesity
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Oral or parenteral (intramuscular or intravenous) antibiotics treat bacterial infections. The use of parenteral antibiotics is for severe cellulitis. Precaution: Antibiotics must be taken in full complete course (usually 5 to 10 days) depending on the doctor's orders. Side effects: Nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea. Drug interactions: Alcohol, other antibiotics

  • Analgesics and antipyretics (paracetamol) help lessen fever and pain. Side effects: Stomach complications, nausea, vomiting, acute liver failure. Drug interactions: Alcohol, anticoagulants, hepatic enzyme inducers, hepatotoxic agents.
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
  • Garlic is a strong antibacterial agent. Chewing on (three) raw garlic cloves (if it's difficult to chew alone, it can be taken with water) help treat cellulitis. Continue taking garlic everyday until the symptoms are complete removed from the skin.

  • Drinking 3 liters of water everyday helps flush out bacteria and dirty toxins through urination.

  • Pineapples have an enzyme called bromelain which helps reduce skin inflammations. Include pineapple fruit in meals or take pineapple supplements 3 times a day.

  • Tea tree oil and turmeric powder have antibacterial properties that can treat skin infections. Dilute tea tree oil in water or mix turmeric powder with small amounts of water to form a paste, and apply to the infected skin 3 times a day.

Lifestyle modifications

  • Use an antibacterial soap when taking a bath. Avoid harsh rubbing on the infected skin.

  • Practice good hygiene to avoid being infected by bacteria and other forms of skin disease.

  • Cover fresh wounds with a bandage to prevent bacteria from entering the skin.

  • Patients who are diabetic or have a weak immune system must take extra precautions in skin care as they are more prone to skin injuries and infections.
Doctors to Consult
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