Cellulitis in foot and hands, leading to dramatic skin... - LSN


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Cellulitis in foot and hands, leading to dramatic skin changes all over my body

walk profile image
8 Replies

I have primary lymphoedema in my left foot which has been well controlled through compression and daily creaming of the affected area.

Despite showing no signs of any lesion I developed cellulitis which went un-diagnosed for a week or so as I was unaware of what it was. My foot and ankle were very swollen but hands were particularly bad with painful swelling on the back of them and lack of sensitivity in my fingers. I saw the doctor who suggested a week's course of penicillen which started to control the swelling in my foot and hands, but after a few days the skin on my chest and face flared up and sun damaged areas became swollen and tender, and a rash appeared all over my body.

I went back to my doctor who said the penicillen had worked well on the cellulitis but could not comment on why my skin had flared, and prescribed a course of steroid cream on the affected areas.

I am aware that the cream may help with the symptoms but not the cause of this skin flare - does anyone else have a similar experience I could learn from?

8 Replies
Lynora profile image

it’s quite unusual for cellulitis to appear away from the affected area - but not impossible. It might be worth asking for further checks to make sure the cellulitis has been treated, and find out what could have caused the rash - could it have been a reaction to the penicillin?

SmallBlueThing profile image

I've had Mast Cell Activation Syndrome from a different antibiotic, and was advised to take an anti-histamine and cease the antibiotic, in case my airways became blocked. I've known of painful hands due to macrobid, taken for a UTI.

walk profile image
walk in reply to SmallBlueThing

I've been told to take antihistamine & use steroid cream but now have extreme thickening of soles & palms. Any advice?

SmallBlueThing profile image
SmallBlueThing in reply to walk

Be very careful not to pick at it, when/if the skin decides it's time to slough off.

DeadfootMo profile image

I don't think the penicillin worked at all and you still had cellulitis.

When I had crippling cellulitis several years ago now, I was given intravenous antibiotics everyday for 10 days. At the end of 10 days I was given oral antibiotics. However, the skin discolouration did not clear up straight away, but the pain had eased the heightened redness and blueness had eased and so had the swelling. For my complete recovery though it was a good 6 months to 9 months before my skin recovered. However, at the time I was also told it was essential that I kept my legs and feet moisturised once or twice daily without fail to prevent the damaged skin developing an uncontrolled roughness and dryness that could give rise to further bouts of cellulitis and eczema.

In total since 2014 I have only had 4 bouts of cellulitis but none that have since required intravenous antibiotics, as I have learnt how to spot the early signs of it and know that when this happens I am to see my GP ASAP for oral antibiotics for an average of 10 days to a fortnight.

I unfortunately have lymphoedema in my feet and ankles which makes the wearing of compression socks impossible.

walk profile image
walk in reply to DeadfootMo

I think that is what happened - the cellulitis never cleared. After 3 weeks I took another 2 week course of Amoxycillin but now have extensive eczema and am using Betnovate and creaming with Hydromol. I saw on line certain doctors recommend wrapping with clingfilm for a period to ensure the creams are better absorbed. Any views on this? I dont want to worsen what is an already distressing situation.

Lynora profile image
Lynora in reply to walk

I have not heard of this recommendation - it would tend to keep the skin surface wet, which could lead to maceration. Can you be referred to a lymphoedema clinic or therapist?

DeadfootMo profile image
DeadfootMo in reply to walk

If it is severe eczema that needs treating viscopaste bandaging works a treat . It is wet full of zinc based treatment and is then wrapped with dry light tubular bandage. 24 hours later the whole lot comes off and the treatment starts again until it is gone. There is no macerbation with the treatment as it is really takes the itch out of the eczema, dulls the redness down. moisturises the skin and is restorative fo the skin too. This treatment can be used with a low dose steroid cream or ointment but after a good week the difference in yoru skin will be amazing. Ask to see a dermatologist.

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