Cellulitis is a type of skin and tissue infection. It is caused by the staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria, and is often referred to as a ‘staph’ infection.

  1. Occurs when bacteria gets in breaks in the skin
  2. Can cause pain, a feeling of burning, and swelling
  3. Treatable with antibiotic medication

Treatment for cellulitis is not currently available through our UK pharmacy. If you think you have symptoms of a skin infection, you should see your GP in person.

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Cellulitis is a condition which occurs as a result of a bacterial infection. It is identified by the following symptoms, which affect the skin and soft tissue just beneath: redness, swelling, feeling of burning, and sometimes blistering. The infection will most commonly appear on the legs, hands and fingers, but is not exclusive to these areas, and can appear just about anywhere on the body. Treatment for the condition is usually issued in the form of antibiotics, but, in cases where it is allowed to develop, cellulitis may require hospital admission.

There are certain types of bacteria which can cause infections of this kind, and these are called staphylococcus and streptococcus. It is usually through cuts and breaks in the skin that they enter the body and begin to infect soft tissue. This might occur due to poor hygiene in general, but may also be the result of a cut, graze or other wound not being kept clean.

Some people are more at risk of developing cellulitis than others. For instance, anyone who has a weakened immune system, due to having a condition such as diabetes, may be more prone, and have to take more care to avoid infection. Being obese and having poor circulation can also increase a person’s likelihood of encountering the condition. Perhaps the best way to prevent cellulitis is to be cautious with cuts and minor injuries, and to make sure the area stays clean and protected from bacteria.

How the condition is treated largely depends on how serious it is. More severe cases may necessitate hospital admission and close supervision. Complications can arise from staph infections, and be quite serious. These include blood poisoning, also known as septicaemia, and abscesses. If you think you have a severe staph infection, you should go to your nearest doctor’s surgery or hospital as soon as possible.

For milder cases, a doctor will usually issue a course of antibiotic medication to fight off the infection.

Please note that treatment for cellulitis is not currently available to buy from our UK pharmacy. If you think you might have a cellulitis infection, we advise that you seek medical attention.

Page last reviewed:  13/06/2018
Types of Treatment

Types of Treatment

How the condition is treated will largely depend on how serious it is. More severe cases will usually require hospital admission and urgent medical attention.

But for milder cases which have not yet spread, prescription antibiotics such as Flucloxacillin, Co-fluampicil, Erythromycin or Doxycycline can effectively rid the body of the infection. 

How do they work?

Antibiotics stop an infection by combating the bacteria causing it. They tend to inhibit the ability of the bacteria to produce self-sustaining proteins. Once the bacteria are unable to make these, their growth pattern becomes disrupted, and their advancement ceases. The immune system is then able to fight off what remains, clearing up symptoms.

What are the side effects?

Among the more common side effects are stomach upset, diarrhoea and headache. Consult the relevant product pages for more information.

Can I take them with other medications?

Let your doctor know which, if any, other treatments you are currently taking, as they may affect your capacity to use these products. This is particularly important if you are taking statins, antivirals, or other drugs for bacterial infections. Refer to our product pages to find out more.

Page last reviewed:  13/06/2018
Question and Answers

What’s the difference between the medications?

Different antibiotics are used to treat different types of bacterial infection. Some have a narrow spectrum, while others have a broader range. 

Which should I take?

It depends which is most suited to your particular case. Your GP will determine which antibiotic to use.

Are there different side effects?

More commonly reported side effects of antibiotics include stomach pain, diarrhoea and headache. More detailed information can be found in the patient information leaflet supplied with the medicine.

Is it right for me?

Treatment for cellulitis is not currently available to order from our UK pharmacy.

Patients experiencing symptoms of cellulitis should see their doctor.

Page last reviewed:  13/06/2018

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