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Complications of Cellulitis and Lymphangitis

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Cellulitis and Lymphangitis

For those of us with lymphedema, this is often our worst nightmare and sends us to the hospital more than anything else regarding lymphedema. In this section there are many detailed articles on cellulitis, complications of and treatment for cellulitis and/or lymphangitis.

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Acute Cellulitis

Acute Cellulitis is one of the complications of lymphedema. The patient may not be aware of the source of the etiology. Sometimes it may be a cut, mosquito bite, open wound or other infection in the body.

The first sign is increased or different quality of PAIN involving the lymphedema limb. The patients often describe this as a "flu like symptom or an ache" involving the Lymphedema arm or leg. This is usually followed by sudden onset of ERYTHEMA(redness, red streaks or blotches) on the involved limb. The HYPERTHERMIA(lymphedema limb becomes warm, hot) will follow and the patient may experience the CHILLS and even HIGH FEVER.

The early intervention and treatment with antibiotics will resolve this condition (it usually takes one week of antibiotics). Only a Medical Doctor will be able to prescribe the Antibiotics, thus a consultation with a Doctor is necessary. Severe Cellulitis may require Inter venous Antibiotic treatment and hospitalization. Again, elevation of the affected limb is important.

During that phase the patient should NOT massage the Lymphedema limb,apply commpression  bandages, use a compression pump, wear tight elastic sleeve or exercise excessively. Avoid the blood pressure and blood to be drawn from the involved arm. Keep the limb elevated as much as possible while resting. Once the symptoms dissipate the treatment MLD/CDP should be initiated.

How do we prevent this infection? The patient should be careful with daily activities and take all precautions to protect the skin (wear gloves when gardening, cleaning with detergents, etc... ). If an injury to skin occurs on the Lymphedema limb it is necessary to clean the wound with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and apply Neosporin/Polysporin antibiotic ointment. If the symptoms progress seek the attention of a physician immediately. See also: Prevention of Cellulitis

Also, as I have mentioned numerous times, I encourage everyone to be under the care of an infectious disease doctor

Pat O'Connor

April 25, 2008

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It is so very important to avoid getting cellulitus as it further
destroys the lymphatic system. Allowed to spread or continue it can become systemic and can lead to sepsis, gangrene, amputation of the limb or even death.

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This article is taken from the Spring 2002 issue of LymphLine, the LSN's quarterly newsletter available to all LSN members

Watch point: The Importance of Antibiotics for Cellulitis

By Professor Peter Mortimer

Antibiotics are often recommended on a long term basis in patients who have recurrent attacks of cellulitis. The reason is quite simply because nothing else works (unless there has been a substantial improvement in the swelling following decongestive lymphatic therapy). Cellulitis results from the compromised local immunity within the swollen region (but not your overall body).

Treating with antibiotics as and when each attack of cellulitis occurs is a bit like 'shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted'! Each attack of cellulitis can not only make you ill but tends to cause a deterioration in the swelling and make the tissues (skin and underlying fat layer) harder (fibrotic). This does not help the long term control of the lymphoedema. Experience has shown that the best way of controlling recurrent attacks of cellulitis is with a low dose of antibiotic taken every day (usually penicillin or erythromycin). Unfortunately this approach, nor any other for that matter, may not necessarily cure the infection and an attack could start immediately if you inadvertently stop the antibiotic. Therefore please only comply with the recommendations made by your GP or lymphoedema therapist.

There is no reason to believe that long term antibiotics are harmful or affect your whole body's immunity. For decades penicillin has been given life long without a problem to patients who have had their spleen removed. Therefore safety seems assured providing you are not allergic.

http://www.lymphoedema.org/lsn/lsn140.htm#TOP

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Cellulitis Complications

http://health.allrefer.com/health/cellulitis-complications.html

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Are there complications of cellulitis?

What is cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria. The infection most often develops anywhere the skin has been broken—often from a cut, burn, or an insect bite. The infection spreads from the skin to underlying tissues. In severe cases, it can spread quickly, within hours or days. Cellulitis is usually not contagious.

What causes cellulitis?

Cellulitis is caused by bacteria, usually Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Facial cellulitis in children under 3 years of age is typically caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae.1 Some people are at risk for infection by other types of bacteria that result in cellulitis. At-risk groups include people with impaired immune systems and people who handle fish, meat, poultry, or soil without using gloves.

What increases my risk of cellulitis?

You may be at increased risk for cellulitis if you have:

What are the symptoms of cellulitis?

Cellulitis can cause tenderness, pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the infection. Fever and chills are also common. Cellulitis can occur anywhere on the body. In adults, it often occurs on the legs, face, or arms. In children, it commonly develops on the face or around the anus. Facial infection requires immediate medical attention; antibiotics can help prevent a potentially dangerous eye infection.

Are there complications of cellulitis?

Complications such as bacteremia (presence of bacteria in the blood) or sepsis (systemic inflammation in response to infection) can develop if the bacteria that causes cellulitis spreads quickly through the body. Facial cellulitis infection can spread to the brain (meningitis). Other complications, such as thrombophlebitis or, rarely, gangrene, can also develop. If you are an older adult, have certain medical conditions such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease, or an impaired immune system, you are at increased risk for complications. You may also be at risk for recurrence of cellulitis.

How is cellulitis treated?

Antibiotics are the main treatment for cellulitis and are usually successful in curing the infection. Antibiotics can be taken either orally or intravenously (IV). If you have certain medical conditions that increase your risk for getting cellulitis, you can take antibiotics after a skin injury to help prevent the infection.

http://www.pamf.org/teen/healthinfo/index.cfm?page=article&sgml_id=tr5105

Author: Kathe Gallagher, MSW Last Updated May 22, 2003
Medical Review: Terry Golden, DO - Family Practice
Adam Husney, MD - Family Practice
W. David Colby, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease

-------- Short List of Possible Infections Complications----------

1.  Osteomyelitis (bone infection)

2. Meningitis (brain and spinal cord infection)

3. Lymphadenities (inflammation of the lymph vessels)

4. Sepsis (whole-body inflammatory state)

5. Abscesses (collection of pus in  the body)

6. Thrombophlebitis (vein inflammation related to a thrombosis)

7. Necrotizing Fasciitis (Infection that leads to the destruction of the musclature underlying skin)

8. Shock  (bodily collapse or near collapse)

9. Recurrence (return of cellulitis)

10.  Gangrene (tissue death)

---------External Links--------------------------------

Infectious Complications

http://www.cancernetwork.com/cancer-management/infections/article/10165/1802868

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Fact Sheets: Complications (Opportunistic Infections & Malignancies, Symptoms, and Side Effects) 

http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=md-rr-21

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Infectious Complications Infectious Complications of Body Piercing

http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/Infectious%20Complications%20of%20Body%20Piercing.pdf

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Evolving Pattern of Laparoscopic Gastric Band Access Port Complications. Dec 2011

http://www.springerlink.com/content/41720j02l8737316/

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Infectious complications in adult acute myeloid leukemia: Analysis of the prospective multicenter clinical trial ALFA-9802. Dec 2011

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10428194.2011.636812

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* For more complete information and expanded database on cellulitis, lymphengitis, erysipelas and types of infections, causes, treatments please see the category Lymphedema Cellulitis, Lymphangitis *

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Related Lymphedema People Medical Blogs and Pages:

Bacterial Infections

http://bacteriainfections.blogspot.com

Antibiotics

http://antibioticinformation.blogspot.com/

Cellulitis

http://cellulitisinfections.blogspot.com/

MRSA Information

http://mrsainformation.blogspot.com/

Antibiotic Glossary

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=34

Antibiotic Therapy, Types of Antibiotics

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_antibiotics.htm

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Join us as we work for lymphedema patients everywehere:

Advocates for Lymphedema

Dedicated to be an advocacy group for lymphedema patients. Working towards education, legal reform, changing insurance practices, promoting research, reaching for a cure.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AdvocatesforLymphedema/

Subscribe: AdvocatesforLymphedema-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Pat O'Connor

Lymphedema People / Advocates for Lymphedema

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For information about Lymphedema

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For Information about Lymphedema Complications

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=complications_of_lymphedema

For Lymphedema Personal Stories

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=3

For information about How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=how_to_treat_a_lymphedema_wound

For information about Lymphedema Treatment 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=treatment

For information about Exercises for Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=exercises_for_lymphedema

For information on Infections Associated with Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=infections_associated_with_lymphedema

For information on Lymphedema in Children

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_in_children

Lymphedema Glossary

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=glossary:listing

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Lymphedema People - Support Groups

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Children with Lymphedema

The time has come for families, parents, caregivers to have a support group of their own. Support group for parents, families and caregivers of chilren with lymphedema. Sharing information on coping, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Sponsored by Lymphedema People.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/childrenwithlymphedema/

Subscribe: childrenwithlymphedema-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Lipedema Lipodema Lipoedema

No matter how you spell it, this is another very little understood and totally frustrating conditions out there. This will be a support group for those suffering with lipedema/lipodema. A place for information, sharing experiences, exploring treatment options and coping.

Come join, be a part of the family!

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/lipedema_lipodema_lipoedema/?yguid=209645515

Subscribe: lipedema_lipodema_lipoedema-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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MEN WITH LYMPHEDEMA

If you are a man with lymphedema; a man with a loved one with lymphedema who you are trying to help and understand come join us and discover what it is to be the master instead of the sufferer of lymphedema.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/menwithlymphedema/

Subscribe: menwithlymphedema-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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All About Lymphangiectasia

Support group for parents, patients, children who suffer from all forms of lymphangiectasia. This condition is caused by dilation of the lymphatics. It can affect the intestinal tract, lungs and other critical body areas.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/allaboutlymphangiectasia/

Subscribe: allaboutlymphangiectasia-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Lymphatic Disorders Support Group @ Yahoo Groups

While we have a number of support groups for lymphedema... there is nothing out there for other lymphatic disorders. Because we have one of the most comprehensive information sites on all lymphatic disorders, I thought perhaps, it is time that one be offered.

DISCRIPTION

Information and support for rare and unusual disorders affecting the lymph system. Includes lymphangiomas, lymphatic malformations, telangiectasia, hennekam's syndrome, distichiasis, Figueroa
syndrome, ptosis syndrome, plus many more. Extensive database of information available through sister site Lymphedema People.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/lymphaticdisorders/

Subscribe: lymphaticdisorders-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Lymphedema People New Wiki Pages

Have you seen our new “Wiki” pages yet?  Listed below are just a sample of the more than 140 pages now listed in our Wiki section. We are also working on hundred more.  Come and take a stroll! 

Lymphedema Glossary 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=glossary:listing 

Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema 

Arm Lymphedema  

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=arm_lymphedema 

Leg Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=leg_lymphedema 

Acute Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=acute_lymphedema 

The Lymphedema Diet 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=the_lymphedema_diet 

Exercises for Lymphedema  

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=exercises_for_lymphedema 

Diuretics are not for Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=diuretics_are_not_for_lymphedema 

Lymphedema People Online Support Groups 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_people_online_support_groups 

Lipedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lipedema 

Treatment 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=treatment 

Lymphedema and Pain Management 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_and_pain_management 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT)

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=manual_lymphatic_drainage_mld_complex_decongestive_therapy_cdt 

Infections Associated with Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=infections_associated_with_lymphedema 

How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=how_to_treat_a_lymphedema_wound 

Fungal Infections Associated with Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=fungal_infections_associated_with_lymphedema 

Lymphedema in Children 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_in_children 

Lymphoscintigraphy 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphoscintigraphy 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=magnetic_resonance_imaging 

Extraperitoneal para-aortic lymph node dissection (EPLND) 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=extraperitoneal_para-aortic_lymph_node_dissection_eplnd 

Axillary node biopsy 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=axillary_node_biopsy

Sentinel Node Biopsy 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=sentinel_node_biopsy

 Small Needle Biopsy - Fine Needle Aspiration 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=small_needle_biopsy 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=magnetic_resonance_imaging 

Lymphedema Gene FOXC2

 http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_gene_foxc2

 Lymphedema Gene VEGFC

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_gene_vegfc

 Lymphedema Gene SOX18

 http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_gene_sox18

 Lymphedema and Pregnancy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_and_pregnancy

Home page: Lymphedema People

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com

Page Updated: Dec. 13, 2011