Oral antibiotics for cellulitis are the most common and effective treatment available for the bacterial skin infection. Usually, the medicine is prescribed in pill form, however, in extreme cases, intravenous (IV) antibiotics may be administered directly into a vein. When IV therapy is needed to treat the infection, hospitalization is generally required. Visiting the doctor at the first sign of symptoms can lead to a faster recovery, and avoid more serious complications from developing.
The type of oral antibiotics for cellulitis prescribed by doctors usually depends on the severity, and strain, of the infection. Since there are generally two types of bacteria that cause the infection, staphylococci and streptococci, it is often helpful when the doctor is able to establish which one has caused the condition. Sometimes, people contract the infection through a skin lesion or an insect bite. If you are aware of the source, that information, along with blood tests, may help the doctor determine the appropriate course of treatment. Otherwise, an antibiotic that treats both strains is often prescribed as a precaution.
If you begin taking antibiotics for cellulitis and signs of improvement are not apparent within a few days, it is important to tell your doctor. Also, in the event you are experiencing a high fever or other extreme symptoms, it is possible that a more aggressive approach must be taken to rid the body of the infection. Hospitalization may be required in some cases, so that the antibiotics for cellulitis can be given through IV and your condition can be appropriately monitored for signs of improvement.
Doctors generally recommend that you take all of the medication prescribed to you, even when symptoms start to improve. A common mistake patients make is prematurely discontinuing the antibiotics because of the belief that the condition has been cured when the rash starts to get better, or even disappears. Consequently, the infection returns, and sometimes, it becomes more severe.
Prompt therapy with antibiotics for cellulitis is important to thwart the progression of the infection. If the condition is left untreated, serious complications can occur. Sepsis, an infection that travels through the blood stream, is one such illness that can quickly create a life-threatening situation for the patient.
Another dangerous complication of cellulitis, while not very common, is the flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fasciitis. This deep-layer infection creates an emergency situation for the patient, as the bacteria quickly eat away at the tissue. Not only has necrotizing fasciitis led to amputations, it becomes deadly if it reaches tissues that surround the organs.