Cellulitus AGAIN! Desperate for solution

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I'm a 32yo guy who has just had my third hospitalisation for cellulitis in my leg. First time was about 8 years ago and was by far e worst. 2 months off work including 3 weeks in hospital. 2nd time was May this year, in the other leg. Not too bad, 5 days in hospital and a week at home and I was back to normal.

This time it was back in the original leg, and a week in hospital and 2 weeks at home. My problem now is the swelling that just won't go away! I have a compression tight that I wear and it does help, but standing with my legs together there's still a huge difference. I am struggling to find a solution. 

The stranger thing is that this year I've lost a ton of weight and I'm the healthiest I've probably been in years yet I've managed to get it twice in 6 months. I know it's from athletes foot which I am religiously treating but still so afraid of it happening again. 

My diet is pretty good, I don't drink anymore and I'm back to the gym again. I'm not sure what else to do, especially about the swelling and redness. Can anybody suggest anything that I can try?

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  • Posted

    Any and every chance you get to elevate that leg above your heart, do it! Even at work, if you can remove the weight off the bad leg by propping it up or place it on a step or something higher than ground level will help. By all accounts my cellulitis from March is gone, but it still hurts and swells more than the other ankle every time I work a night shift. Best of luck to you and keep us updated. Oh, and ice packs can help ease pain and swelling but I'm sure you know that!
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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for replying!

      Yeah I do try to keep it elevated especially at home but is tricky at work. It's usually looking good in the mornings but by the end of the day it's a big difference from the other lower leg.

      The other leg where I had it in April/may this year has gone completely back to normal and that happened within a month or so. Seems this time it's not going to happen so quick with the other leg!

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  • Posted

    Hi nick59136,

    I'm kind of confused...what does your cellulitis come from? Do you have lymphoedema? And when you are hospitalized, what do they do? IV antibiotic treatment? You said it's from athletes foot but I've never heard that ever...why would that make your upper leg swell? And how far up your leg does it swell? Do you have wounds and drainage as well? If it's lymphoedema it's about opening up those lymphedema areas so drainage can occur and you have to have your legs up alot. Please tell me more....ladyjack51

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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for replying!

      I don't recall ever hearing the word lymphoedema from any of the doctors. They said it's likely that bacteria has got in through the athletes foot as each time I've ended up in hospital it's been after a flair-up of the athletes foot, they said there's cracks in the skin between my toes on whichever leg has got the cellulitis.

      In hospital it's IV antibiotics, I am allergic to flucloxacillin

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    • Posted

      (Sorry posted too soon, trying to do this from my phone)

      So it's a different antibiotic. The pain & swelling begins in my groin area and then usually within 48 hours my lower leg starts to turn red and painful and swollen.

      The first sign of trouble has been the very very sudden chills and fever. I got to hospital in an

      Hour from the first signs of it this time round and my temperature was nearly 41 degrees so luckily was admitted immediately and explained that I had been there months earlier with cellulitis. They said it's the same thing this time.

      There's no wounds on either leg or foot except for the cracked skin between my toes.

      They did not discuss drainage with me but did advise to keep leg elevated as much as possible. The other leg (where I had it a few months ago) was completely back to normal in a month and I never get swelling on redness on that one.

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    • Posted

      Can you answer the rest of my questions? It's important for me so I can know if we relate or not. The thing is....I was treated for a very long time and no one mentioned lymphoedema either...until it became this huge life endangering problem and especially having to be hospitalized. In fact it was just a mere little therapist guy who said the word lymphoedema to me 1 day and then I asked my Dr about it and he said yes...that's probably what I have!!! The problem is...not many people specialize in it and the county hosp I was going to for 4 years only had 2 people in the whole hosp that treat it. And my leg was so large, and weepy and infected tha they told me they couldn't help me. I was devestated. I didn't want to live anymore. My leg was 1 huge wound. But...one day the wound turned black and I know about gangrene so I raced to a different private hosp close by my house....a whole new world opened up for me! They had a whole department that deals with lymphedema and they knew exactly what to do for me. They wrap my leg overnight and by the next morning it was down to normal size! I hadn't seen it like that in 4 years! To make a long story short I have switched over everything from that county hospital to that private hospital by my house now and I go to them for treatment. I've gotten so much of my mobility back and I'm not nearly in the pain that I was in. My leg is no longer weepy or draining and doesn't even have a wound on it at all. But lymphedema is a lifelong disease and so I will always have to wear a compression garment on it. But for me that is a small price to pay considering what all I have gone through and the bandage and we were having to do and what we were having to do with. Does this make more sense to you as to why I'm asking about the lymphoedema? I mean, maybe this isn't what's going on with you but that's what I'm trying to find out. Ladyjack51
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    • Posted

      Hhmmmm....wow...see your groin area is exactly where the main drain system for your lymphatic system is. So more and more...this is sounding like lymphoedema to me. I'm a big woman and after having my very first child I was left with what they call that hanging belly. So when I sit or even when I stand ....since I have had for more children now... it puts pressure and even squishes that lymphatic area there in my groin. I have to try to lift my belly off that groin area as often as I can to help drainage occur. Drainage occurred through the skin in my leg because my leg was literally three to four times the size of a normal leg. The fluid simply had nowhere else to go except through the skin and therefore it also caused Wounds because lymphatic fluid is nasty discarded fluid from our bodies. You probably haven't had that drainage yet because your leg probably hasn't gotten large enough yet to force that fluid to seep out through your skin. Keep using compression that is the key! As long as you keep the size down and the swelling down that fluid will not be forced out of the skin and will not cause draining and wounds. It's it's just such a little known Disease that even a lot of doctors just don't know anything about it. Sometimes they cover up just because they're ignorant about it and they'll say no you don't have that but that's only because they just don't know anything about it. You've got to talk to somebody else or bring this up to your doctor if you really trust them and see if you have lymphedema so that you can be treated properly. What do you think?
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    • Posted

      That sounds so scary! Especially the gangrene thing. That's actually a huge fear of mine!

      I know that the first time 8 years ago they said my weight was a factor. In the last year I've got really serious about my health and have lost just over 100lbs now yet have had cellulitis twice. So I don't really know.

      Maybe I do need to see a specialist about it. The Dr's in hospital never seem to really think my condition was very serious or needed further investigation but maybe that's because like you said they don't know much about it. I'm not sure.

      I am quite worried as I'm going to China in 3 weeks time and I'm afraid of getting sick while I'm there! Plus it's a 12 hour flight so I will definitely have to wear my compression bandage for that.

      My upper leg didn't swell up at all, but my groin area on that leg did. They did examine it and said the nodes were definitely swollen, however they went down within 2/3 days of being in hospital. The problem now is all below the knee.

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    • Posted

      So was mine nick....below the knee even now. But sometimes when my leg is down too long the fat part on the inside of my leg at the knee gets big but it usually goes down when I lay down for several hours and have it up. Gangrene is something that COULD happen if you have a wound that can't drain right or something....mine wasn't gangrene but the tissue inside the wound turned black bc it was dead (necrotic) tissue that needed to be scrapped out. I had a bandage on there that wasn't allowing drainage properly and that happened overnight. Hopefully you won't get that severe but you gotta keep that compression on there. I'm going to be fitted to a special one piece wrap soon that should much easier for me to put on. Right now I still wrap using an elastic cloth more intense than an ace bandage but close. CONGRATULATIONS ON THE WEIGHT LOSS!!! That is a big deal and it seems like you should have gotten alot better having done that....but it's also a lifelong disease so maybe that's why you still have it. I'm willing to bet that's what to have Nick. I also have it in just one leg. I promise your Dr just doesn't know anything about lymphoedema so hes having trouble diagnosing you but you need a second opinion or just go to the emergency room of a decent hospital where several Dr's will see you or consult with each other. Tell them your Dr is treating you right and you feel it's possibly lymphoedema. Let me know please.
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    • Posted

      It doesn't sound like lymphedema to me - my lymph nodes swell up when I have cellulitis because of the infection and I don't get it in my lower leg (when I had it in my ear my it was the lymph nodes in my neck and when it was in my buttock it was the ones in my groin).

      I've had it from eczema before, which causes cracks in the skin as does athletes foot, so it seems the likely cause for the infection getting in.

      Everything else (the fever and chills) is down to sepsis, which is the dangerous competent to all this.

      Coincidentally, I had lost weight and improved my diet before the cellulitis struck, although I don't think there is much of a link.

      Unfortunately, I have no advice to give n the redness and swelling - they kept me in hospital until it was all well on its way out. Perhaps they let you go too soon. Does it hurt? I had some swelling and discolouration afterwards, but it just faded away after a few weeks.

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    • Posted

      Emps,

      Your lymph nodes swelling up due to infection is a side affect of some infections...that's true. And YOUR situation doesn't sound like lymphoedema....true again. But I am talking to him about his situation and his is different than yours...in many ways. That's why you can't relate. However his issues are in his leg and if you want to read the differences again just reread our postings. But thanks for your opinion. For his sake, I wish it wouldn't be Lymphoedema. But it can be managed. Just like you....so many people don't know alot about it.

      Ladyjack51

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  • Posted

    Hi nick i am 36 overweight a bit and have dry feet, i have just had my 6th batch of cellulites in last few years all have been in my right leg except one. I know im getting it as i start to shiver and temperature goes sky high. I have been on iv drip once and rest of times on Flucloxacillin 2000mg a day   i have been to dermatologist  and now awaiting a leg scan and to see a vascular consultant to try and find why keep reoccurring.  i am worried about the damage to my legs as ever since this started my leg muscles seem very tense all the time. , My doctors are very baffled  of why keep reoccurring and not sure what to do next as i was a low dose of daily antibiotics to try and stop it coming back but it has twice since being on them.  let me know how you're doing.  il update when had leg scans if you want.   Dan in the Uk.   
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