Tons of folks contract cellulitis at one point or another in their lifetimes. But while lots of people eventually experience this, many folks aren’t aware of the natural remedies and other solutions they can use to help defeat the rash in conjunction with prescribed antibiotics.
This guide will break down everything you need to know about cellulitis, how to address it, and what natural supplements and remedies you can use for symptom relief.
What is Cellulitis?
Cellulitis is one of the most common, but also potentially serious, bacterial skin infections you can get. Characterized by a swollen and red rash that spreads throughout the infected area, it’s also usually quite painful and warm to the touch.
While cellulitis is normally found on the skin on your lower legs, you can technically get a cellulitis rash anywhere there’s a skin break. If cellulitis isn’t treated, the infection can eventually spread to your bloodstream and become life-threatening. However, it’s also not normally spread from person-to-person, except in rare circumstances.
The symptoms of cellulitis include:
- Reddening or inflammation of the skin, which tends to make the skin stretch and expand
- Additional swelling and tenderness
- Frequent pain and irritation
- Red spots and blisters, particularly near the center of the affected area
- On rare occasions when the infection progresses, a fever may occur as the body tries to burn away the bacteria
What Causes Cellulitis?
As a bacterial infection, cellulitis can only occur when there’s a break in the skin, and one or more varieties of bacteria are able to infect the wounded tissue. The most common types of bacteria to cause cellulitis are Streptococcus and staphylococcus, though other bacteria species can also cause the infection.
Your skin can be broken or disrupted in a number of ways. For instance, your skin can break from:
- Playing outside and receiving a minor wound
- Getting a bug bite – the bacteria can enter your skin either from the bite or from environmental contamination after being bitten
- If your skin becomes dry and cracks, the bacteria can enter your skin without a visible wound
- Recent surgery that opens the skin can also expose you to a risk of cellulitis
- Regular athletes may suffer from athlete’s foot or dermatitis, which could lead to a cellulitis infection
Ultimately, anyone can get cellulitis from everyday activities. Older folks and people with pre-existing conditions are, however, more vulnerable to cellulitis. If you have diabetes, fungal infections, a weakened immune system, or chickenpox/shingles, you may need to be more careful.
But the good news is that cellulitis is well understood and can usually be treated once identified by a doctor.
How Can You Treat Cellulitis?
If you suspect a cellulitis infection, you should always contact a doctor right away. If you also have a fever at the same time as a rash, visiting an emergency room is the best course of action. A healthcare provider can thoroughly examine you and determine whether cellulitis is the cause of your symptoms.
You can also undertake the following efforts while at home to minimize your symptoms:†
- Be sure to cover your wound or rash. Your doctor may prescribe you with a bandage soaked in antibiotic ointment to prevent irritation and further infection
- You must also keep the area clean, particularly if there are still open wounds
- If affecting the legs, be sure to elevate the affected area to reduce the swelling
- When at home, apply clean and cool washcloths soaked and water. Try to avoid any chemical ice packs since these can irritate your damaged skin even further
- Follow your overseeing doctor’s recommendation to be safe.
If handled properly, your cellulitis infection should start to dissipate within 48 hours. If it does not, contact your doctor.
Natural Therapies to Support Antibiotics
To aid your body’s ability to heal you can also supplement with alternative therapies to minimize your symptoms and help you relax while your body recovers.
Vitamins C and E
Supplements that contain vitamins C and E can be helpful when treating cellulitis, as these are antioxidants and can help prevent inflammation by nature.† In a nutshell, these supplements can help minimize the swelling and pain that you experience from a cellulitis infection.†
However, vitamin C can sometimes interfere with medications, especially blood-thinning medications. You should always speak to a physician before taking any natural remedy or additional supplement in conjunction with your treatment to avoid any side effects.
Vitamins C and E can be taken either in targeted supplements via capsules or can be consumed through certain foods, like whole-grain bread, fruits, and vegetables.
These vitamins and all other essential vitamins you need for daily health can be found in Livingood Daily’s Multivitamin. It’s a perfect daily vitamin to take regularly that contains the nutrients you need to support skin health and immune function.†
For a more potent boost of vitamin C, Livingood Daily’s Vitamin C Supplement contains a whopping 2500 mg, offering your body some of the antioxidants and building blocks it needs to help your immune system do its job.†
Zinc is also a great supplementary mineral to take for the purpose of supporting your immune system.† In fact, this trace element is necessary for your immune system to function correctly. Since your body is already fighting off an infection when you have cellulitis, a deficiency in zinc could lead to a longer struggle to heal.†
You should take about 11 mg per day of zinc as an adult male or 8 mg per day as an adult female. You could zinc either through targeted supplements or through various food sources like vitamins C and E. The best sources of zinc are:
- Certain types of meats
- Whole grain cereals
- Certain dairy products
Probiotics are supplements that add helpful bacteria to your microbiome in your gut. Since antibiotics are oftentimes indiscriminate and kill all the bacteria they come into contact with, this can do a number on your digestive and immune systems and leave you open to harmful bacteria and microbiome imbalance.
To offset this, many doctors will prescribe probiotic supplements to take in conjunction with your antibiotics. However, you can also take probiotic supplements found from other sources so long as they contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is one of the best probiotic supplements on the market.
Livingood Daily’s Greens supplement includes both this probiotic and many other species, so it could help to bolster daily health as well as provide holistic digestive health benefits.†
Lastly, you can look into certain herbs to alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms of cellulitis. As with all of the above supplements and remedies, you should consult with your physician about adding herbs and other supplements to your routine to ensure that you don’t experience any harmful side effects or interactions.
Some helpful herbs include:†
- Colloidal Silver can assist with promoting skin health.
- Yarrow can be applied to the skin to support the body’s natural healing process.
- Tea tree oil is one of the most well-known natural herbs for soothing and general skin wellness.
- Calendula flower is a natural herb approved in Germany for certain topical applications. As with other natural remedies, it’s primarily useful for soothing skin irritation.
Ultimately, cellulitis is a manageable condition so long as you speak to your doctor quickly after recognizing the symptoms.
In conjunction with doctor recommendations, you may be able to utilize natural supplements and remedies to support the rest of your body as it battles cellulitis!†