Has anyone had cellulitis in their arm: I was diagnosed... - LSN


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Has anyone had cellulitis in their arm

paubow profile image
11 Replies

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 15 years ago and and have always had a swollen arm I saw the Lymphoedema nurse and was given a sleeve and exercise plan I have been fine up to now but the cellulitis has left my arm swollen and my skin flaky I have been told my GP to moisturise my arm and I am waiting to see the Lymphoedema breast care nurse I have no pain just feels uncomfortable and a burning sensation from time to time

11 Replies
Lynora profile image

Have you completed a 14 day course of anti-biotics? You can find details about cellulitis treatment on the LSN website. The infection can be nasty, and leaves you feeling 'dented' for some time afterwards. Keeping the arm (well, actually, all of you!) well moisturised is good advice - this should be a life-long habit.

paubow profile image
paubow in reply to Lynora

Hi Lynora Thanks for your reply.I had 3 days IV and am now on my 5th day of oral tablets I have another 5days to take.I do feel much better and am back to doing most things I was doing before but my arm is still swelled and patchy but much improved I am keeping it moisturised using diprobase.Was going to try my sleeve again at weekend as I am going away for a short break

norberte profile image

hi paubow

it's miserable, isn't it? i had it in my most affected arm for jan & feb then promptly started a bout in my other arm in march

if you wear sleeves the advice is to moisturise with something unperfumed every night after you've taken it off, so it's soaked in by the time you want to get washed & sleeved in the morning

& you've just got to be very gentle with it

i dunno if the redness goes away - my arms seem to have permanent patches that look red & sore, & i only know i've got cellulitis if someone else feels a patch & it's hot, it starts growing (draw round it if you're not sure) & my temperature goes from 37 to 43 in the space of a couple of hours (that's the big giveaway!)

i'm on prophylactic penicillin now - i take 1g a day cos i'm a smidge over 75kg (!) & haven't had cellulitis since i started taking it

i still take all the usual precautions if the skin gets punctured, but i've stopped panicking so much every time i get a little paper cut!

give it time - 14 days is often not enough with the antibi's, it just flares up again & it's a good idea for your gp to prescribe 'stand by' antibi's you can have at home, so you can start taking them as soon as a bout of cellulitis starts & obviously stop wearing any compression gear cos you don't want to help it spread

the lsn website has got a ddocument (i think it's in the 'info for professionals' bit) about good practice in managing & avoiding cellulitis - might be worth a read

good luck!

paubow profile image
paubow in reply to norberte

Thanks for your reply I will have to take more care now with my arm I must admit I have not been good at wearing my sleeve and have done most things they tell you not to do I dont know how I got the infection as I hadnt any cuts or bites I cant take Penicillin so after the 3 day IV the hospital put me on Erythromycin I am hoping that will be it I went into the Isn website it was very good info hope you keep ok and good luck to you

norberte profile image

if you're anything like me it'll be from pressure - i've got poor balance & pinball from wall to wall with my arms taking the brunt, or someone could hold your arm just a little bit too squeezily ....you'll just have to tell 'em to squeeze somewhere else

glad you're sorted out with the pills - moisturiser'll help for when you want to show your arms off, i'm sure (put it on with v gentle strokes upwards, then 1 last stroke down each arm - apparently it helps the arm hairs lie back down which is a good thing but can't remember why)

& i defy anyone to get it all right so don't beat yourself up (especially on the arms) - every time you do 1 of the recommended things, see it as a bonus!

now, fancy a competition for who can stay cellulitis-free the longest??

cancer1 profile image

hi i had my first cellulitis a month ago, i wanted to let you know about E45 itch cream which i use on a daily basisi to cream my arm this was recommend by the Royal Marsden it is brillant. thanks lisa

paubow profile image
paubow in reply to cancer1

Thanks Lisa for the tips I have been using diprobase but my arm is still a little red and patchy but i suppose it will take time was it the first time you have had cellulitis every one seems to have had it several times

lovesradio profile image

Sorry to hear about your cellulitis bout, I'm always trying to stave it off with regular moisturising with dibprobase gel which I find better than E45. Good luck with antibiotic treatment and I would echo recommendation to get some to keep at home.

norberte profile image

what's this diprobase / dibrobase stuff, paubow & lovesradio?

my skin's completely un-dry except for my hands, so if i use e45 lotion (the least thick e45 more than every 3 evenings or so i get teenage spots under my sleeves ... such a good look!

i've got a huge thing of e45 lotion & i'm finishing that before i buy anything else, 'cos it just gets too expensive looking after the lymphoedema, but i'd be interested in trying something else if it's completely un-greasy

hope all is well & lymph is infection-free

paubow profile image

Hi Norberte Diprobase I find is easily absorbed easily and not as greasy as e45 cream you can get it on prescription and it last ages i use it twice a day morning and evening on my arm and find it better then e45. Not had a return of the dreaded cellulitis as yet. Also my arm has gone down a lot since. Waiting for a appointment to see the lymphodema nurse at our local hospital dont know how long i will have to wait. Keep well

paubow profile image

Just a update on my previous posts have managed not to have cellulitis so far ended up not going to South Africa I had a accident in February and broke my hip got lots of problems now the surgery caused nerve damage so I have ended up with a swelled foot now been to see the Lymphodema nurse twice and my arm has been ok just making sure I moisturise and wear my sleeve good luck to all it's awful to live with it daily

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