Home Remedies for Cellulitis
Increase your fluid intake
Take over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription pain medications to reduce pain
Raise the affected body part, if possible
Apply cool, wet dressings or creams
What Is Cellulites?
Cellulitis is a basically a bacterial infection of the skin that is said to affect around two to three percent of adults. It is known to develop due to bacteria thriving within the dermal as well as the subcutaneous layers of the skin. Many a times, the skin infections caused due to staph bacteria are nothing to be worried about, such as those which are known to cause redness and small, fluid-filled boils or bumps. But in other cases, it may become very serious, wherein there would be a need for emergency intervention to prevent any kind of complications to certain other parts of the body. The bacteria that leads to cellulitis is known to generally enter the skin via an open cut or wound, then it tends to reproduce quickly within small, enclosed pockets of tissue. While there are various types of bacteria that can cause cellulitis, two of the most common ones are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. This can be contagious through skin-to-skin contact with an individual who is carrying the bacterium or through sharing any kind of personal items; these are known to be two of the most common ways this bacterium can be passed from one person to another. A few of the cellulitis symptoms that are caused due to the creation of these bacteria usually include the skin turning red followed by pain, tenderness, and, finally, the formation of painful blisters or bumps. Some individuals may also experience fever. For some patients with cellulitis, the bacteria are known to penetrate deeper into the body to reach the enclosed tissues that are just beneath the surface of the skin, thereby causing inflammation and penetrating into the bloodstream. In rare cases, it is known to have a negative effect on the blood vessels and the vital organs.
- Medications: Antibiotics that are derivatives of penicillin or any other kinds of antibiotics that are known to be effective against the bacteria responsible for causing cellulitis are used to treat cellulitis. In certain cases, if the bacteria turns out to be resistant to the antibiotics started, or in those patients who are allergic to penicillin, the doctor would need to suggest some other antibiotic. In other instances, the treatment would require the administration of intravenous antibiotics, which would need to be carried out in a hospital since the oral antibiotics would not be able to provide a sufficient amount of penetration into the inflamed tissues to be effective. In some cases, certain intravenous antibiotics can also be administered at home or at an infusion center, but if it is carried out at home, proper technique should be made learned from the doctor. A few examples of such antibiotics are amoxicillin, cefazolin, Ceftazidime, penicillin, piperacillin and tozabactam, and ciprofloxacin.
Protect any open cuts present on the skin: There are certain steps an individual can take to treat any open cuts present on the skin as well as to prevent the bacteria from entering and thriving there. They are as follows:
- Gently wash the skin, especially those sections that have any open wounds or cuts. This practice should be carried out on a daily basis, along with using natural antibacterial soap and warm water. If the doctor performs an incision, be sure to always follow the directions provided by the doctor on how to cleanse the wound, along with the application of bandages or ointments. Be sure to wash your hands before and after you touch any openings present on the skin.
- Check for any potential signs of an infection, which may have formed near the wounds, and those signs would include swelling, skin turning red, heat, tenderness, and pain. If you notice any kind of blisters or cysts have formed and contain pus, inform the doctor of this as soon as possible.
- In instances of a scab, scrape, cut, or burn, these should be immediately treated by applying a protective cream or an ointment, which can also help with the healing process. Be sure to always keep the skin well moisturized so as to prevent any kind of cracking or peeling off. One can even prepare their own homemade treatment with the help of natural, antibacterial essential oils. These can be used in almost the same way as one may when using over-the-counter antibiotic ointments (such as Neosporin).
- Be sure to keep the damaged or irritated skin constantly cool or damp, if required. This can be done by applying a moist bandage in case the doctor also recommends the practice. If the swelling is bad, elevate the affected limb. The skin, which is healing, should be kept away from hot water as well as cold temperatures.
- Avoid the application of any irritating or toxic chemical products to the skin while it is healing. Those toxic or chemical items would include perfumes, lotions, makeup, soap, etc. Instead, it is always better to opt for natural products.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight if the skin is in the process of healing, or you can also consider wearing gloves and a hat based on the weather.
- Elevation of the affected region: Elevation is known to reduce the swelling and pain generally caused due to cellulitis, hence, if the pain or swelling tends to worsen, you can elevate the affected body part.
- Avoid antibacterial overkill to increase the health of the immune system: It has been seen that, gradually over time, certain bacteria and viruses have developed resistance to antibiotics, and this is being address globally as a health crisis. It is considered a global health crisis by medical authorities. There is a term known as “antibacterial overkill,” which is the intake of too many antibiotic drugs for various reasons. It can be for certain common illnesses or overusing any household antibacterial products from a very young age. All of these are known to hinder the development of the immune system, thereby altering the composition of the microbiome. All of these factors tend to contribute to the development of what is now known as superbugs or mutated bacteria for which we commonly do not have any control of. With the passing of so many decades, the staphylococcus bacteria are known to have morphed into a highly antibiotic-resistant superbug bacterium which is also known as MRSA due to its overexposure to such components. All of this is said to affect us but there is no easy fix to such issues.
Use natural products to treat pain or swelling: In order to ease the discomfort caused by the infection, which includes blisters as well as inflammation, below are a few of the following methods one can use:
- Take a warm compress and press it against the rash. This can be done once or twice on a daily basis. Be sure always to use a clean washcloth.
- The inflamed skin can be soaked in a warm shower or warm bath, but do not use hot water.
- Gently stretch the stiff region so as to keep it from becoming tighter.
- Be sure always to wear clothing that is loose and breathable. It should be made from natural fibers.
- Do not let the affected region come into contact with chemical items or skin irritants.
- You can also apply soothing essential oils, which can include a rash cream made with lavender oil, to the skin that is swollen or irritated, and combine it with a moisturizing oil as well, such as coconut oil. This should be done several times a day.