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What is a good home treatment for cellulitis?

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Quick Answer

An individual can treat cellulitis at home by resting and elevating the affected area, and by taking over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce fever and swelling, according to WebMD. Home treatment may help, but cellulitis is an infection that needs to be treated by a doctor.

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Full Answer

Cellulitis is an infection of the surface skin as well of as the soft tissues underneath, explains WebMD. It is caused by bacteria entering a break in the skin and spreading. Symptoms of cellulitis include redness, swelling, warmth in the affected area, pain and pus.

People with diabetes, liver disease, circulatory problems and skin disorders such as eczema are at higher risk for cellulitis, notes WebMD. Trauma to the skin, surgery, broken bones and any disease that causes sores on the skin, such as chicken pox, also increase the risk of cellulitis. Doctors usually prescribe a 14-day course of antibiotics to treat cellulitis, and most people begin to heal after a few days of treatment.

If the condition does not improve with oral antibiotics, antibiotics are administered intravenously. Rarely, surgery is required to treat cellulitis. Affected individuals must seek emergency care immediately if cellulitis is accompanied by high fever or chills, numbness, hardening of the infected area, nausea, vomiting or increased pain, says WebMD.

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