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Traveling? Quick Reaction to Cellulitis is important

posted Aug 2, 2012, 5:17 AM by Bobby Clark   [ updated Aug 6, 2012, 6:00 AM ]
Greenville, South Carolina - Although we didn't have a guest speaker this month [August 2012], we did share with each other the dangers of cellulitis and importance of reacting quickly to any first signs of infection. Many members had stories to tell about cellulitis and the preventive measures they take to lessen the effects of such attacks.

 Cellulitis, after a single day of symptoms. 

Cellulitis, a severe infection in body tissue, is common among those with Lymphedema. It usually occurs in or near the outside of the limb and can present as a painful rash on the limb's skin. Untreated Cellulitis can be very dangerous and recovery can be very difficult. 










Lymphedema can act as a doubled-edge sword by both providing opportunistic infections the "substance to grow", the protein rich fluid left in our bodies, and retarding the bodies own defences or any antibiotics meant to combat the infection.  A few members recounted their situations where not acting quickly enough led to long recoveries and set backs in the progress they had made with their therapy.  

The most important item is talking to your doctor about your options and what the best preventive steps are for your situation.  With that in mind, the group consensus suggested a few important keys to prevent major problems with cellulitis attacks.


The after affects of cellulitis

Make prevention a part of your treatment routine and maintenance.
    • Consider using antibiotic garments (sometimes lined with silver) when possible. But know their use doesn't guarantee you won't have attacks, just makes them less likely to happen.
    • Make sure you sure to use moisturizing lotions and take proper care of your skin in your daily treatment routines. Cracks in the skin can lead to opening points where infections can start. 
    • Pay attention to any cuts or bruises on your body and clean and treat those sites as quickly as you can to prevent infections. Be aware acts such as pedicures, manicures, tattooing, and any activities that pierce the skin can greatly increase your chances of infection. 

Engage your doctors about your travels and other possible symptoms you might experience. 
    • If you are prone to cellulitis attacks, consider keeping a standing prescription for antibiotics or in some cases having a small starting sample. (Consult your doctor before taking any medicine).
    • Early signs for cellulitis can include fever, fatigue, or headaches, and other flu-like symptoms followed by redness with your skin, itching, and painful areas on your limbs.

Have a plan before you travel about how and where you get to treatment if you suspect the early signs of cellulitis. 
    • Know where doctor offices, emergency rooms, urgent care, and open pharmacies are located in the area you plan to travel.
    • Make sure you pack your health information with you, such as insurance cards, a list of medicines you take, and your doctor's contact information.
    • Talk to your doctor about what terms to say to Emergency room or Urgent Care staff to make them realize you are a potential case for severe cellulitis. Giving our caretakers this information can prevent long waits for treatment and improve your treatment options. 
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