cellulitis: Hello can anyone advise me please, I am... - LSN


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completely-zero654 profile image

Hello can anyone advise me please, I am having yet another bout of cellulitis and need to really go and see the doctor for the usual anitbiotics. If I do not go will it go away on it's own or should I go and see the doctor today for my med. I am fed up with going to the docs just to get a fortnights tablets every time this happens. Can anyone please tell me what I should do because I am that fed up with going. Also is it that important that I see someone?

28 Replies
Lynora profile image

Yes yes and yes again. Go see your GP urgently. If you get frequent infections it may be time to discuss long term antibiotics with your lymphoedema clinic. You could also ask your GP to prescribe you antibiotics to have on hand for situations like this.

Many people keep a supply handy, as invariably, infection sets in at 5pm on a Friday - when then GP practice is closed!

completely-zero654 profile image
completely-zero654 in reply to Lynora

Bless you Lynora for replying to me. You see where I go to the doctors you never ever get to see your own doctor, well maybe once a year and it is just going through the whole process time and time again. I wondered if it might just go away on it's own for once.

I will make an appointment tomorrow at 9 o' clock to see the duty doctor.

Thank you Lynora for your support xx

Lynora profile image
Lynora in reply to completely-zero654

Cellulitis must never be ignored. It does not go away - it is a bacterial infection, and, sadly, if untreated has very nasty consequences. Simply not worth the risk. If a GP will not see you, go to A&E.

Promise you, I will. xx

PhoenixLincs profile image

Good morning

It might be worth printing off a copy of the LSN cellulitis information to take with you.


LenaGal profile image

Hi unfortunately you must go to your GP cellulitis must be treated asap. I work for GPS and see this all the time. Patients end up in hospital if cellulitis is not treated quick enough. I do not mean to frighten you, perhaps you could ask your GP whether it is possible to have your antibiotics more readily available, maybe with them prescribing you a "just in case" prescription that you can keep at home in reserve. They will do this for some conditions. Good luck and hope you recover quickly. X

completely-zero654 profile image
completely-zero654 in reply to LenaGal

Thank you LenaGal, feel really rough it is all bright red lumpy bumpy and downright sore where it is swollen. xx

barney22 profile image

You MUST go to the Doctor. I have only just got over the worst Cellulitis I have ever had, I nearly lost my left leg so PLEASE go today.

jenet profile image

Yes don't leave cellulitis or it will definitely get worse. I don't usually have to go to the Dr if I get cellulitis as I always have enough antibiotics at home. I used to be on antibiotics all the time as a preventative but nearly 2 years ago I bought a Lympha press that I use every day and since then I've only had cellulitis twice and no longer take antibiotics as a preventative. Hope you get better soon, it is very distressing

CumbriaKC profile image

It's very important to get the right antibiotics asap as leaving it can not only make the condition worse in the long run but you could end up being extremely ill & in hospital with blood poisoning - this almost happened to me once, & was very scary. I now take prophylactic penicillin (taken all the time) & this has prevented more attacks of cellulitis & has helped keep my leg almost normal for 10 years. Good luck! CumbriaKate xx

syrup01 profile image

I am on permanent antibiotics and have stronger antibiotics at home should I get an infection.

It absolutely has taken the worry out of cellulitis (which has hospitalised me for 15 days in the past). The only time I have had cellulitis since is when I failed to take them over a weekend when I was away.

There are those media stories about long term antibiotic use, but I have to be more concerned with the problems now, not potential problems in the future.

Thank you all so very much and I mean that from the heart. Have had bouts of cellulitis before and because I am allergic to some penicillin so I take clarithmaricin (sorry can not spell that one). Apologies for the change in type but my husband just rang the doctors to make me a appointment and spoke to some haughty receptionist who said it will have to be a phone call first (my doctor not available, surprise surprise. So she got the duty doc to ring me back and I started fiddling with keys, nerves I guess). The duty doctor sounded more concerned than my own doc. She saw on my notes the last time I had a bout asked if it was the same place etc etc, asked me if I would like to go and see her (I said no coz I feel rubbish) anyway, she has issued me the clarithro (ready in 1 hour), and if it gets any worse, say over the weekend she told me to go to A & E. I am ok with that coz do not want to be a nuisance when there are people worse off than me.

Thank you all for being here and your advice, you are all so kind. To those of you who have been hospitalised with it I am truly overwhelmed that cellulitis can be so bad you could end up losing a limb through it. Bless you all and thank God you are out of danger. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sorry to be ignorant of this horrid thing but please can anyone explain to me what happens if you have to go to hospital? What do they do to the limb with cellulitis and why is it that you could end up losing it? I have read about cellulitis but not what happens to you if you are hospitalised for it. Is it something to do with the bacteria eating the flesh? I really do not understand. Please help me to. Also do any of you wear a braclet etc., to warn people you have it? I am so sorry to ask personal questions.

LenaGal profile image
LenaGal in reply to completely-zero654

Hi there, I work in GP surgery, cellulitis needs quick action, I believe in hospital they put you on intravenous antibiotics to get rid of the bacterial infection quick. The risk is without treating I have seen cases where it develops into septicaemia - a very bad condition.(blood poisoning). Good luck, get your treatment quickly. PS: An educated and properly trained GP receptionist should know you need fast treatment for this. The telephone call triage service does work only if the patient gives a strong clear message about what is going wrong, i.e."- I am at risk of cellulitis, I've had it before and I know I need treatment straight away". This information is put on the duty Doctor's screen and they should prioritise this call back to you. Very best wishes xx

Lynora profile image
Lynora in reply to completely-zero654

No need to feel ignorant - keep asking questions!

If the cellulitis was untreated, you would become very unwell - (high temperature, flu-like feeling, body aches etc) and would require hospitalization. You would be put on intravenous antibiotics, probably for several days, and kept in hospital.

As LenaGal mentions below, cellulitis can develop very quickly into septicemia. Amputation is incredibly rare, but has happened - which is why medics take cellulitis very seriously, and your notes should reflect this, and whenever you call to talk to a doctor about possible infection, you should mention to the call handler that you are at risk - like LenaGal says - receptionists will know this is a high priority call, and must be dealt with urgently.

No need to wear a bracelet, unless you have had breast cancer, and should avoid blood tests/blood pressure cuffs in or on the affected arm. The LSN used to sell bracelets for this purpose.

completely-zero654 profile image
completely-zero654 in reply to Lynora

A very big X and thank you both for your support especially about informing the reception desk regarding being at risk. Also I am annoyed at my GP (who I seldom get to see, always another GP) for not putting on the screen. When I first had cellulitis it was again another younger doctor who saw me and he said that I should be on a low dose of antibiotics for the rest of my life. When I next saw my "normal" GP he was annoyed because I had seen another GP (not my fault my doc was booked up), I did say what was I supposed to do? but it fell on deaf ears. Turns out the GP I saw in the beginning knew exactly what he was talking about. Instead I now have to explain (and it is a phone call from the GP first) what medication I require.

Have taken 3 clarithmoricin (sorry for spelling) so far, 500mg x 2 daily and have enough for 2 weeks. Still feeling rough and legs bright red and mauve and of course puffed out like a balloon, tired, very tender and all the rest of the nasties that affect you.

Have had my feet up for about an hour this evening but the fluid is back the minute feet touch the floor with avengence. It is a losing battle and leaves so many different coloured marks that just will not go away and I do not know where they have got it from in various things I have read but there is no way on this planet through being dirty. I shower morning & night, have clean clothes on every single day, washing machine's on every day. Our 1 bed bungalow is cleaned every day and steam cleaned throughout one a week, the bed is changed weekly and before if needed, I swear by bleach and dettol sprays. So how can these people who write these books, papers etc., say cellulitis comes from being dirty. Maybe in the very old times, I do not know but surely not in the 21st century.

I will certainly make sure that reception has details on screen when Monday comes and once again bless you all for your help, understanding and being here. A BIG THANK YOU to LSN for this site if it was not for this page etc., I would not be here now. Take care xxxxxxxxx

Lynora profile image
Lynora in reply to completely-zero654

Cellulitis is nothing to do with sterile surroundings. It is caused by ingress from the skin of a nasty bacteria that populates every mammal. Don't beat yourself up - or exhaust yourself by over cleaning!!!

completely-zero654 profile image
completely-zero654 in reply to Lynora

Hello Lynora, I am so sorry that I have not replied sooner to you. Have been feeling really rough with it this time. I am still taking the 500g x 2 clarithmoricin have 2 more weeks supply left. I am feeling very tired but legs are looking slightly better although still have a lot of stinging in the legs (sore to touch) and ankles/feet are very swollen. I honestly thought that if you were unclean, say that you could get it from dirt. Too tired to do much cleaning or anything, having to really push myself to do anything. Thank you and the LSN page for helping me.

I really hope and pray that one day someone will find a cure for this horrid painful thing. My legs are all colours and marks thanks to the lymphoedema/cellulitis, they will never ever be the same. Trousers, maxi skirts and very wide shoes which you need a mortgage to buy.

Take care - xxxxxx

Marjol80 profile image

Hi, I have recurren cellulitis also, despite Im on long life antibiotisc. I always have stronger antibiotisc just "in case" at home, and I take them straight away. However you can always book home visit with your surgery in the case like this. I have leg lymphoedema and there is no chance to walk with cellulitis and without compression. My GP always coming to see me at home. Please ask next time for seeing you at home and for extra dose of clarithromicin, All the best x

completely-zero654 profile image
completely-zero654 in reply to Marjol80

Hello Marjol80, bless you for replying, Same antibiotics as me as I am allergic to the others. I fully understand you can not walk with cellulitis far too sore and painful. My husband went and collected my prescription, I rarely go outside even when I have this. The lymphoedema just takes over your life somehow, if I happen to venture out it is in a wheelchair because I can not walk far. As well as this I have an inoperable back problem and am on Morphine slow release and liquid plus another 25 tablets which I have to take daily. I am registered disabled and my husband is my carer. Life is an ordeal all round, pain 24/7. This page is a lifeline for me and everyone is so very kind. I hope that I will be able to help someone with support one day as you and many others have helped me xxxxxxxx

sammyvan profile image

I have been thru the Cellulitis ''Friday Evening'' debacle! I am one who did end up in hospital, being admitted on my birthday this year at four in the morning!. I had intravenous antibiotics as well as oral Clindamycin and was in hospital for three weeks plus. Thanks to some wonderful nursing there and also the care I now receive from form the District Nursing team, both legs have settled down and no infections now for nearly 8 months. I was found to be allergic to Clindamycin, so am now on a basic dose of Clarithromycin - 250mg daily. I have been advised that if I notice any sign of Cellulitis over a weekend, or even overnight, I should immediately increase the dose to two tablets [500mg] twice a day.

ALWAYS make sure you have a course of antibiotics handy and with you at all times.

Wishing you all the best, and hope the dreaded Cellulitis is under control very soon.

completely-zero654 profile image
completely-zero654 in reply to sammyvan

Bless you sammyvan, what a day to remember, do not do it again. Seriously though I am very very relieved that you have come through this, take good care xxx

galtyboi profile image

Cellulitis does not go away on its own and can get worse if not treated.See your gp A.S.A.P.

Certainly have got some antis now galtyboi. Thank you for you support xx

LymphingAlong profile image

Hi there, so glad to see that everyone made it clear just how serious the implications of cellulitis can be. It has to be treated asap. Just wanted to add that I've found that applying aloe vera gel (especially with tea tree oil added) to the affected area twice daily helps in conjunction with the antibiotics to take the infection down and speed up healing.

Take care and wishing you a speedy recovery.

completely-zero654 profile image
completely-zero654 in reply to LymphingAlong

LymphingAlong, thank you for that, I know aloe vera is good for all sorts. Will give it a try, have to get some though, I have the oil (lots of different ones). Did have a aloe plant but it only liked the wet room and I moved it.

Early days yet but hopefully will get there xxxxx

LymphingAlong profile image
LymphingAlong in reply to completely-zero654

Hi there completely zero, it's great if you can use the flesh of the plant failing that you can get the aloe gel mixed with tea tree oil from a popular high street health food shop (unsure whether it's okay to mention store names on this forum), but I'm sure you know the one. Aloe is amazing - anti- bacterial, anti-virucidal, anti-fungal, speeds wound healing, boosts immune system (taken orally) and cleanses the blood. Tea tree does much the same - I cut myself very badly doing DIY recently and poured tea tree over the wound. Both sides of the wound knit together substantially overnight and fab healing since.

Stay strong and sending you powerful good wishes for speedy healing and improved health in the future.

syrup01 profile image

To follow up - how I cope with cellulitis. I have learnt the early warning signs - for me it feels like I've injured my knee, because I always get a pain behind the knee. As soon as I feel this its pack up work, and get home. I keep my strong antibiotics (Clarithro) in my car. Usually within 1 hour of pain starting, I start shaking - I believe it's my body going into shock. The lymphoedema causes the body to not react to low level skin deep infections, and it's only when the infection takes hold that the body panics. As soon as I am on the antibiotics It's bed rest for at least the next 24 hours, but I can be back to work within 2 or 3 days.

The moral of my yarn is insist that your GP allows you to store antibiotics at home, and as soon as you suspect cellulitis then get on them and take the full course.

completely-zero654 it sounds like you should be being treated in hospital, if at the very least get a doctor to see you. When I had my major attack whenever I went to stand up I can only describe the pain as it felt like my leg was filling up with red hot sand, and I couldn't walk, and I consider myself fairly fit and mobile even with the cellulitis, so if you have other problems I have massive sympathy for you and your husband.

Two things I must correct you on:

Cellulitis isn't an MRSA, so it doesn't eat your flesh, but it is a serious infection as it should be treated as so


You are not wasting people's time by treating it seriously. A temperature of over 40 with body in the throws of shock is serious enough - trust me!

Thank you syrup01, for being understanding. Apart from this site there is nobody for me to talk to or get any idea of what this can do. Have had lymphoedema for 6 years now together with bouts of cellulitis. I am taking the clarithmoricin and they seem to be helping my left calf slightly, but my right one is worse than my left one now. It just does not make sense, either way feet are red and on fire as with legs. Will give tabs time to work though.

Replying has helped me understand, thank you, take care

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