How do you treat cellulitis?

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September 11, 2007 8:11PM


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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