Cellulitis

Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and the tissue beneath it. The area is typically red and tender. It is caused by germs (bacteria) (usually staph or strep) that enter the body through cuts or sores. Cellulitis most commonly occurs in the arms or lower legs.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • If you are given a prescription for medications which kill germs (antibiotics), take as directed until finished.

  • If the infection is on the arm or leg, keep the limb elevated as able.

  • Use a warm cloth several times per day to relieve pain and encourage healing.

  • See your caregiver for recheck of the infected site as directed if problems arise.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • The area of redness (inflammation) is spreading, there are red streaks coming from the infected site, or if a part of the infection begins to turn dark in color.

  • The joint or bone underneath the infected skin becomes painful after the skin has healed.

  • The infection returns in the same or another area after it seems to have gone away.

  • A boil or bump swells up. This may be an abscess.

  • New, unexplained problems such as pain or fever develop.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have a fever.

  • You or your child feels drowsy or lethargic.

  • There is vomiting, diarrhea, or lasting discomfort or feeling ill (malaise) with muscle aches and pains.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.