How to Care for an Infected Cellulitis Area

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How to Care for an Infected Cellulitis Area
Care for an Infected Cellulitis Area

Though your doctor will assist you in supervising the treatment of your cellulitis, you will play a large role in the care of the infected area to make sure it heals properly and does not come back.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Prescription antibiotics
  • Warm compress
  • Prescription pain medication

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  1. 1

    Listen carefully to your doctor's instructions on taking care of the areas of your skin that are infected by cellulitis. Your doctor will most likely advise you not to touch the infected area and to avoid moving it too much. You'll need to allow yourself time to rest, though you should be able to go about your daily activities as long as the infected area is not on the bottom of your feet or in area especially susceptible to infection, such as your face.

  2. 2

    Follow the recommended dosage of the medication your doctor is likely to prescribe to treat the infected cellulitis area. Antibiotics taken orally are the most common form of treatment for cellulitis, but they are only effective when taken properly. If you do not notice a change in your symptoms after taking the medication for several days, you may need to go to the hospital and have the medication given intravenously.

  3. 3

    Avoid further injury to your skin. Even a small bump or scrape can open the skin enough to spread the infection, so do your best to take it easy while recovering from cellulitis. Be especially cautious with the cellulitis-infected area of the skin and avoid making any sudden movements or participating in strenuous physical activities.

  4. 4

    Elevate your arms and legs, or any other areas of the body where this is possible, if they are infected by cellulitis to help reduce the amount of swelling. This helps improve the circulation in your body and may be a more comfortable position for resting.

  5. 5

    Apply compresses to the cellulitis-infected area of your body to help reduce any pain you may be experiencing. Bandages or cloth that are soaked in warm, sterile water are likely to work best and can be reapplied as necessary. You may want to ask a friend or family member for help in applying the compresses, but be sure to remind them to avoid touching the infected area.

  6. 6

    Take any pain relievers that are prescribed by your doctor to help reduce the pain associated with cellulitis. It's important to be very careful when taking prescription painkillers, as they may be addictive.

  7. 7

    Try to avoid contact with anyone or anything that may spread infection. This includes having contact with family and friends who are sick, as well as cooking with raw meats. In general, it is best to rest and avoid physical and close contact with others while undergoing treatment.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult your doctor if you have any questions regarding the appropriate way to care for your cellulitis.

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