Cellulitis is a potentially serious bacterial infection of the skin. While it may affect any part of the body, it mostly affect the lower extremities.
Unlike other skin infections, cellulitis can affect deeper layers of the skin like the dermis and the subcutaneous tissue. It is usually caused by the Streptococcus and Staphylococcus bacteria, the same bacteria that cause impetigo.
Both men and women can develop cellulitis. However, there are factors that may increase one’s risk of developing them. These include a fungal or viral infection, conditions and medications that suppress the immune system, chronic skin condition, a bite or scratch, and edema or surgery that involves removal of the lymph nodes.
When a person develops cellulitis in the leg, he/she would begin to notice skin rash which usually spreads within 24 hours. Aside from the rash, he/she will also have fever, tenderness on the affected site, pain, inflamed skin that seems to grow bigger, and a skin that appears to be stretched.
Preventing Complications of Cellulitis in the Leg
Cellulitis in the leg can lead to serious complications when left unmanaged. These include septicemia (infection of the blood), kidney damage, and leg ulcers. These potential complications can be easily prevented with the following:
Comply with the treatment regimen
Antibiotics therapy is one of the most common ways of managing cellulitis. For people treated at home, antibiotics are usually prescribed to be taken twice or four time in a day for a week. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics include amoxicillin, co-amoxiclav, clarithromycin, and flucloxacillin.
Completing the prescribed course of treatment doesn’t just prevent bacterial resistance but also in preventing cellulitis complications.
Practice good personal hygiene
Cellulitis in the leg often occur as a result of a break in the skin. This can be a scratch or an open wound. Practicing good personal hygiene like washing the injured site with soap and water and ensuring its complete healing can help prevent further complications of the disease.
Wear compression garments
A swollen leg increases one’s risk of developing cellulitis. It may crack and make it more susceptible to bacterial infection.
Lymphedema, a condition that causes localized fluid retention, can predispose a person to cellulitis and its complications. By addressing the problem, both the occurrence and the potential complications can be prevented.
Wearing compression garments is one way of addressing lymphedema. These therapeutic garments work as they provide added pressure on the area which helps in improving both blood and lymph flow.
Bioflect Therapy Garments have a wide range of compression garments that are made using a unique therapy fabric that helps control the swelling and the fluid buildup. These garments can help in preventing further complications of lymphedema like cellulitis in the leg.
Cellulitis in the leg is highly manageable. So, treat the infection as soon as possible before it leads to something more serious.
Image: Gareth Williams