Lightbulb moment

At the risk of sounding a bit dumb I wanted to flag something up which - although I've had lymphoedema for six years - I have only just found out. The lymphoedema nurse told me yesterday that you can get cellulitis without it being triggered by any external cause - so not necessarily caused by an insect bite or cut. I hadn't realised that it can suddenly just happen for no obvious reason - so now will have to be extra vigilant. Although in this hot weather when my leg is pink and hot anyway, it's difficult to know whether it's an infection or not.

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  • Hi Caroline 11th, I thought you only got it through a break in the skin but I've only been diagnosed 11 month ago lol x

  • Yes, sadly, you can get a spontaneous episode, which is why I wish some of the GP's would take it more seriously when their patients ask to have prophylactic antibiotics in reach just in case an episode should occur - in my experience, it usually happens at 5.15 on a Friday or over a weekend, when there is no access to medical help other than A&E!!!

  • I bet that's when it would happen to me knowing my luck as I don't have any lol x

  • On a positive note, both times I had Cellulitis in the past year and called 111 they had me in to see the out of hours GP within a few hours, and both times the GP didn't hesitate to give me antibiotics before I was fully symptomatic.

    It's rare to have that positive experience but it does happen. The NHS 111 service took my report of suspected Cellulitis seriously.

    I now have antibiotics to hand so that I don't have to call 111 over the weekend 😊 x

  • On a positive note, both times I had Cellulitis in the past year and called 111 they arranged for me to see the out of hours GP within a few hours, and both times the GP didn't hesitate to give me antibiotics before I was fully symptomatic - they erred on side of caution

    It's rare to have that positive experience but it does happen. The NHS 111 service took my report of suspected Cellulitis seriously.

    I now have antibiotics to hand so that I don't have to call 111 or go to A/E over the weekend 😊 x

  • Lynora, I thought I was reading about myself in your post.! Very same scenarios with my 11 cellulitis infections in 7 years. Only one of them was on a week day morning, otherwise always on a weekend evening. I do have prophylactic antibiotics now and a protocol set up for me at the hospital should I deem it necessary for an ER visit. I think my docs got tired of me calling them on the weekend.

    Regarding a spontaneous occurrence: I have secondary lymphedema due to breast cancer, but I can tell you that 4 of the 11 infections had no break in the skin but instead I feel came on due to overuse of the arm. Perhaps that is what might be prompting others infections whether leg or arm.

    The advice I can give is get prophy antibiotics if you can, that way you can address it almost immediately and save your self sickness and more lymphatic damage to the affected limb.

    Be well.

  • Hi Caroline,I am pleased to say my GP lets me have antibiotics on stand by now after a couple of bouts of cellulitis, but I won't forget the first time I had it, had a chest infection too, and had no knowledge of cellulitis, went to a walk in clinic as it was a week-end, feeling really ill, leg bright red up to my groin,really worried and the lady Dr. kept saying pull your trousers up, you have obviously been bitten by something and was much more concerned about my chesty cough, it wasn't until I went to my own GP that she diagnosed me, it took ages to go, so go well, look after yourself, x

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