Cellulitis is a deep tissue infection that’s usually tied to a scratch, puncture, crack, or cut that isn’t properly cleaned. The infection causes inflammation, skin that’s hot to the touch, fever, and tenderness.
When diagnosed and treated early, antibiotics are often the best course of action. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, bone, joints, or lymph nodes, treatments may include putting drains into abscesses and administering pain medications.
Your mom’s doctor diagnosed her with cellulitis. What can you expect next?
Is Cellulitis Common?
The American Academy of Dermatology Association reports that around 14.5 million cases of cellulitis occur in the U.S. every year. People who are overweight, have diabetes that isn’t well managed, or are between 45 and 65 have a higher risk.
Preventing cellulitis is important. Keeping any wounds, punctures, insect bites, or cracks clean and bandaged is one of the best ways to avoid it. People with eczema, diabetes, athlete’s foot, kidney disease, and liver disease all increase your risk.
You want to prevent staph or strep from getting into the wound. Paying attention to a wound as it heals is also essential. Identifying cellulitis in the very early stages of infection is critical when it comes to treatments.
Possible Treatment Plans
If the cellulitis is caught early, your mom may be given oral antibiotics. But, if it’s more severe, be prepared to hire home health care nurses if she needs injections or IV antibiotics. IV and injectable antibiotics are more frequently used in cases that have progressed past the early stages.
As part of the treatment plan, your mom may be told to keep the area clean and dry. Sometimes, wet, sterile dresses are used. It all depends on where the infection is. Pain medications, keeping an arm or leg elevated, and antibiotic creams are also standard treatment options.
Hire Nurses to Help Your Mom at Home
Find out what the doctor feels is the best treatment path. Does the doctor feel she’d be better off in the hospital? Why? If your mom’s doctor feels she could heal at home with nursing care, make the arrangements. She’ll be more comfortable at home than in a hospital room.
Home health care services can help with some of your mom’s care needs. Wound care and nutrition are two critical aspects of caring for a parent with cellulitis. If you’re unable or unsure you’re able to provide the care your mom needs at home, call a home health care agency.