Cellulitis is a prevalent and oftentimes uncomfortable bacterial skin infection. It may initially appear as a red, swollen area that feels hot and tender to the touch. The redness and swelling can spread very quickly.
It most often affects the skin of the lower legs, although the infection can occur anywhere on your body or face. Cellulitis is usually on the surface of your skin, but it may also affect the tissues underneath. The infection can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream.
Cellulitis symptoms include:
- Pain and tenderness in the concerned area
- Inflammation of the skin
- A feeling of warmth in the affected area
- An abscess with pus
Contact your family physician right away if you have any of these symptoms.
Treatment for cellulitis involves taking antibiotics by mouth 5 to 14 days. Your physician may also give you pain relievers. Rest until your symptoms subside and raise the affected area higher than your chest to reduce swelling. Primary care doctors in Hamilton, New Jersey say cellulitis should go away within 7 to 10 days after you start taking antibiotics.
You might need longer treatment if your infection is severe due to a chronic condition or a weakened immune system.