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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Cellulitis: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions


Cellulitis | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the infection?

For mild, superficial infections, oral antibiotics, such as cephalexin or dicloxacillin, are often used. Over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be used as needed to relieve discomfort. For more severe infections, individuals may need intravenous (IV) antibiotics, such as oxacillin or nafcillin.

Cellulitis may get worse even with treatment, especially in people with diabetes. In these cases, more aggressive treatment may be needed. This may include surgery to remove dead skin or even bone.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Antibiotics and over-the-counter pain medications may cause upset stomach, rash, or allergic reactions. Surgery may cause bleeding, new infections, or allergic reaction to anesthesia.

What happens after treatment for the infection?

In most cases, cellulitis goes away after treatment. If treatment is successful, people can usually return to normal activities.

How is the infection monitored?

The healthcare provider will examine the area of cellulitis regularly to assess healing. In some cases, special X-ray tests may be used if a deeper infection is suspected. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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Cellulitis: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Deirdre Monroe, RPh
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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