How do you treat cellulitis?
Antibiotic treatment is the only way to battle this potentially
life-threatening infection. Mild to moderate cellulitis can be
treated with the following antibiotics taken every four to eight
hours by mouth:
* penicillins (Bicillin, Wycillin, Pen Vee, V-Cillin)
* erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ery-Tab)
* cephalexin (Biocef, Keflex)
* cloxacillin (Tegopen)
Other medications may be recommended, such as acetaminophen
(Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) to relieve pain, and aspirin
to decrease fever.
A normally healthy person is usually not hospitalized for mild
or moderate cellulitis. General treatment measures include
elevation of the infected area, rest, and application of warm,
moist compresses to the infected area. The doctor will want to see
the patient again to make sure that the antibiotic treatment is
effective in stopping the infection.
Persons at high risk for severe cellulitis will probably be
hospitalized for treatment and monitoring. Antibiotics may be given
intravenously to patients with severe cellulitis. Complications
such as deep infection, or bone or joint infections, might require
surgical drainage and a longer course of antibiotic treatment.
Extensive tissue destruction may require plastic surgery to repair.
In cases of orbital cellulitis caused by a sinus infection, surgery
may be required to drain the sinuses.
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