There are several options for getting rid of cellulitis, including antibiotics, pain relieving medication and applying ice packs to alleviate swelling. For most cases of cellulitis, physicians prescribe oral antibiotics, notes Mayo Clinic. These antibiotics ideally target and destroy the bacteria causing the cellulitis, although patients must take medicine for several days before a doctor can see its effectiveness.
Cellulitis refers to a skin infection that may spread quickly to other areas of the body and infect underlying tissues. Several types of bacteria may cause cellulitis infections, although the streptococci bacteria serve as primary carriers of the disease. Upon infection, cellulitis presents as a distinct rash with red, inflamed and often itchy skin. Patients may display other symptoms of infection too, such as fever and swollen glands or lymph nodes.
Upon diagnosing cellulitis, physicians generally prescribe a course of oral antibiotics. However, severe cases may warrant antibiotic distribution through IV tubes, which provides faster relief. For patients with oral antibiotics, the full course of medicine should be taken even after symptoms improve, recommends WebMD. This is because bacteria may remain even when symptoms resolve, making it essential to take all medicine. Patients whose symptoms get worse or stay the same after 2 days of antibiotics should contact their doctors, as more aggressive treatment may be necessary.