Cellulitis symptoms: hot, burning, red, tender skin on your lower legs

When our legs are swollen or we have other skin problems, our legs can sometimes become hot, inflamed (red) and tender.

What can cause hot / burning, inflamed, tender skin?

A common induce of this is a bacterial infection of the peel called cellulitis. Swollen legs are more probably to get cellulitis because the lymph system is damaged or impaired and is not equally good at preventing contagion. Cellulitis typically only occurs in one leg .

The symptoms of cellulitis

The signs of cellulitis vary but things to look out for include :

  • Redness
  • New or an increase in swelling
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Increased temperature in the area – the skin will feel ‘hot’ or like it’s burning

These symptoms can happen any time our lower leg and feet are swollen. They can besides happen if you have other skin conditions. typically, in addition to these symptoms, cellulitis will make you feel ailing or give you “ flu-like ” symptoms such as fever, fatigue and aching. You might start feeling ailing a few days before the cellulitis appears.

sometimes infections are caused by wrong to the skin such as a burn off, cut, worm sting or even athlete ’ s foot. But often there international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine always a visible gun trigger or campaign of the contagion .
It is very strange for cellulitis to affect both legs at the lapp time so if you have redness, pain and swell in both legs, it is improbable to be cellulitis. Make certain you contact your GP drill to get the right diagnosis and discussion .

What does cellulitis look like?

Image showing cellulitis symptoms on the leg

Getting diagnosed with cellulitis

If you think you might have cellulitis it is important to get help straight away, especially if this is the first time you have had this problem. Ask for a same-day appointment with your GP. If the symptoms begin over a weekend, contact your out-of-hours GP avail or attend your local walk-in center .
The doctor or harbor will look at the affect sphere and make a note of the color, swelling and temperature. They might besides mark the area on your leg so it ’ second easier to see if your infection is getting better once you start discussion. They will besides look for any wounds or early skin wrong that might have caused the infection .
Most cellulitis infections are diagnosed by examining the peg or foot, but the doctor of the church or nurse may besides take your temperature or carry out some lineage tests to confirm diagnosis. Cellulitis infections can look similar to blood clots ( deep vein thrombosis or DVT ) because of increase inflammation and swelling in one leg. cellulitis can be confused with hemosiderin staining but this is inflammation without a temperature and should not be tender to the touch ; another hint is that hemosiderin staining will not reduce or resolve with antibiotics. Your doctor or nanny might refer you to the hospital to get further tests to make sure you get the chastise diagnosis and discussion .

Treatment – what treatment will I be offered for cellulitis?

Antibiotic therapy

cellulitis infections need a course of antibiotics to clear the infection. Most infections go away with a course of oral ( tablet ) antibiotics that you can take at home but occasionally you might be admitted to hospital for intra-venous ( IV ) antibiotics.

Your symptoms may get worse in the first 48 hours of discussion, but should then start to improve. If you are diffident, call 111 if you can ’ thyroxine speak to your GP if you don ’ triiodothyronine know what to do following .
It is significant that you finish the whole course of antibiotics. The distance of antibiotic path for cellulitis, particularly if you have swollen legs, is often longer than antibiotic courses for early infections. sometimes a second antibiotic course or an extend run of antibiotics is needed barely to make sure the contagion has completely gone .
british Lymphology Society Consensus Document on the Management of Cellulitis ( PDF download )

Managing pain

The infect area can be afflictive. Pain killers such as paracetamol may be helpful along with rest and elevating your swell leg or foot. Often people need fourth dimension off employment so you might need a sick note from your GP .

Things you can do yourself

a well as taking antibiotics, you can help speed up your recovery by looking after your general well being. There are some approaches you can read on the NHS Choices ’ web site .
Remember that cellulitis is normally due to unmanaged swelling. If you normally wear a compaction garment it might be besides afflictive to wear during the infection. If it is, take it off – y­ou can start wearing it again when the swell and pain has reduced. You might need a unlike size stocking if the intumescence has got worse during the infection. But it is important to return to this important therapy a soon as you can. The team that provide your compaction care and treatment will want to know about the infection so they can arrange a review appointment and make certain you are wearing the good compaction dress.

Skin care

Your legs can become dry during and after the infection so make certain you keep them moisturised. Using an unperfumed moisturiser is better for your hide. There may be blisters or wounds that need dressing or monitoring by a nurse team so keep an eye out for those .

Further reading

clinical guidelines document from the british Lymphology Society ( PDF Download )
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