Since cellulitis is a fast-spreading infection, it can quickly affect the rest of the body, causing severe complications. Therefore, it is vital to seek treatment immediately should cellulitis be suspected.
Treatment for cellulitis requires antibiotics to destroy the rapid-spreading bacteria to prevent its growth. However, your doctor may also prescribe pain medication, which some people may feel uncomfortable with. These people may consider more natural remedies for relief.
One natural way to ease the symptoms of cellulitis is to keep the injury clean by washing it with soap and water, keeping a close eye on the affected area over the next few days to ensure it is healing.
You can also soak a clean cloth in cold water and apply it to the infected area to relieve any pain and inflammation. If the infection is in the arm or the leg, keeping the arm or leg raised higher than heart level will also help alleviate discomfort.
A first-aid ointment, such as EMUAID® First Aid Ointment or EMUAIDMAX® First Aid Ointment, may also be applied to help soothe the area.
Your doctor may also recommend keeping the infected area covered with a bandage to help prevent further irritation to the skin and speed healing.
Research shows that once a person has developed cellulitis, they are at a higher risk of developing the infection again, and in the same area, which can eventually damage the lymphatic system and cause chronic inflammation in the legs or arms (4).
Therefore, if you encounter a wound or break in the skin, especially if you have previously suffered from cellulitis, it is essential to care for it right away to prevent it from becoming infected.
Some ways to do this include washing your wound or injury with soap and water and to bandage it right away. It is also vital to clean the area every day to help wash away bacteria that can enter the skin and result in cellulitis.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for signs of infection, such as widespread redness, pain, and pus-filled abscesses.
You can also help stave off cellulitis by taking care to prevent breaks in the skin. One way to do this is by keeping your skin moisturized, preventing cracking that can allow bacteria to permeate the opening.
Keeping your nail tips clipped and even helps prevent cellulitis because it prevents you from accidentally scratching yourself, causing breaks in the skin. Immediately treating other skin infections, such as athlete's foot, and conscientiously managing medical conditions, such as diabetes and eczema, also help lower your risk of cellulitis.
Should your cellulitis reoccur, your doctor may recommend more aggressive forms of treatment, which may include a daily low-dose of antibiotics, or in some cases, even surgery, to release pus from an abscess that has formed in the tissue.