Epidermis is the most superficial part of our skin which acts as a barrier to the external harmful agents, preventing them from entering the body. But sometimes, there develops a crack, blister, sore or any other wound on this superficial layer of skin and this can allow the external bacteria to enter inside.
Beneath the epidermis is the thick layer of dermis that contains the blood vessels, sweat glands and bears the hair follicles. If any bacterium or fungus is able to enter the skin and penetrate into the underlying tissue, it is likely to cause inflammation there and hence may develop cellulitis.
Thus, cellulitis is defined as an infection of the underlying tissue of the skin. Due to inflammation, the skin above that infected underlying tissue becomes tender and hot and appears red and swollen. Fever and chills may also develop.
The bacteria that inflame the underlying tissue are actually the streptococcal and staphylococcal species which are normally present on the skin and enter in through openings of cut or wound. Fungal causes for cellulitis are rather rare. Cellulitis is somewhat a common occurrence of skin condition.
How To Treat Cellulitis
The treatments for cellulitis depend upon the severity of the condition and the general state of health of the affected individual. In case the patient is normal and healthy, treatment with antibiotics can be carried out at home whereas if the patient is immune compromised or have poor circulation or poorly controlled diabetes, they may be admitted in the hospital. Some of the treatments for cellulitis are as under.
If the condition of the patient is stable, that is, if they do not have any underlying complication such as weak immune system or diabetes, the cellulitis condition can be well treated at home. Home-based treatment involves a seven-day course of the antibiotic tablets which is prescribed by the doctor.
The penicillin group of antibiotics such as flucloxallin and dicloxacillin are commonly used for the treatment of cellulitis. For mild cellulitis (staphylococcal infection), flucloxallin or dicloxacillinmonotherapy would be sufficient.
But in case of moderate cellulitis (maybe streptococcal infection), combined therapy is prescribed which involves oral phenoxymethylpenicillin or IV benzylpenicillin.
Treatment At hospital
If in case there is a need to hospitalize the patient, antibiotics are then given through IV.
Due to inflammation, pain is likely to occur. Hence, over the counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen and Paracetamol may also be prescribed for cellulitis treatment.
Antibiotics are prescribed to the patient so if there is an underlying infection due to which cellulitis has occurred, the antibiotic therapy would eliminate the infectious condition.
But if the patient does not respond to the antibiotic drugs, there may be a possibility that cellulitis could be due to an autoimmune reaction. In that case the doctor would prescribe corticosteroids to the patient.
Keep The Infected Area Raised
This helps to reduce the swelling in affected area. If there is a cellulitis occurrence on the arms or legs, keeping the affected limb raised will help relieve swelling symptoms.
Maintaining a good skin hygiene would help to prevent cellulitis from recurring.
Talk to your doctor if you develop fungal infections frequently. He/she may prescribe you some anti-fungal drugs. This may help to prevent cellulitis from recurring.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.