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Lessons Learned from One Mom’s Battle with Cellulitis

Lessons Learned from One Mom’s Battle with Cellulitis

feet on beach; cellulitis

Earlier this year an Indiana mom returned home with cellulitis when her family visited a resort in Tennessee. After a long day of sightseeing, she headed for the hotel hot tub. That’s when the trouble began. (Read her full story in People magazine.)

Hot tubs aren’t the only place cellulitis starts. It begins when a bacteria enters a crack or break in the skin. It happens more often on the lower leg but can start anywhere on the body.

Skin problems and the lower leg or foot area point to a common topic we discuss: diabetes. Because diabetic patients have a lowered immune system and are more likely to not notice cuts, burns or scrapes on their feet or legs they are at a higher risk for developing cellulitis. Another reason to keep checking your feet and legs every day.

Diabetic patients aren’t the only ones at an increased risk for cellulitis. Anyone with a skin injury, lowered immune system, history of cellulitis, skin conditions, chronic swelling or obesity are at an increased risk. 

Symptoms of Cellulitis 

Cellulitis usually starts out as red, swollen skin that’s warm to the touch. As the illness progresses, and as the Indiana mom found out it progresses quickly, the redness, swelling, and tenderness spreads. You may also experience fever, chills, and blisters.

Treatment

If you have any symptoms of cellulitis see your medical provider immediately. The earlier your provider begins treatment the less likely you are to develop long term complications. The mom in Indiana tried two different antibiotics and was treated in the hospital before her condition improved. She faced amputation of her leg if the antibiotics did not work.

Preventing Cellulitis

Diabetic patients should inspect their feet every day and treat any redness or sores immediately. Others who have a skin tear or condition should cover the affected areas and treat them to prevent infection. Follow your doctor’s instructions for treating surgical wounds. Good hygiene goes a long way toward protecting your skin from any type of infection.

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