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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Cellulitis - Home Treatment

If you have cellulitis, follow your doctor's instructions about medicine and skin care. Other steps to help your recovery and keep cellulitis from coming back include the following:

  • Take all of your medicine as prescribed.
  • Take care of your skin. Any measure that prevents injury to your skin will help to prevent cellulitis. Use moisturizers to keep your skin from becoming dry and cracked.
  • Elevate your affected leg or arm to reduce swelling.
  • Apply warm compresses to the affected area.
  • Use pain relievers as needed.
  • Use support stockings to prevent fluid buildup.
  • Take steps to treat or prevent fungal infections, such as athlete's foot. If athlete's foot is hard to treat or recurs, ask your doctor about oral antifungal medicines. For more information on treating this condition, see the topic Athlete's Foot.
  • Take care of your feet, especially if you have diabetes or other conditions that may increase the risk of infection.
  • Avoid touching possible sources of infection, such as ill family members and their belongings; raw fish, meat, or poultry; or soil, particularly when you have an area of broken skin.

One study found that inflammation caused by toes rubbing together (toe-web intertrigo) may be a cause of cellulitis in the leg. This study showed that treating this skin inflammation could prevent cellulitis.3

When you have completed your course of medicine, follow up with your doctor to verify that the infection is gone.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 14, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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