Cellulitis



Follow @dherbs
What Is Cellulitis

Cellulitis is not to be confused with cellulite.  Cellulitis is a common, and sometimes potentially serious, bacterial skin infection that causes the skin to appear red, swollen, and tender to the touch.  The redness and swelling can spread quickly, so it is imperative to control the infection as soon as you can.  Cellulitis commonly occurs on the lower legs, but it can appear anywhere on the body.  The infection affects the skin's surface, but it has the potential to harm the tissues underneath and spread into the lymph nodes and bloodstream.  That is when the infection becomes life threatening. 

Signs Of Cellulitis

Do not let symptoms of Cellulitis go untreated because this can increase the risk of further infection.  If have Cellulitis, the most common symptoms include:

  • Swelling (commonly accompanied by tight or glossy skin)
  • Red area of skin that expands
  • Warmth on the skin
  • Fever
  • Pain in the affected area
  • Blisters
  • Skin dimpling
  • Red spots
  • An abscess with pus
  • A skin sore or rash that grows quickly
What Causes Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection, and the most common bacterial strains that cause infection are streptococcus and staphylococcus.  These bacteria can enter the skin through wounds and cracks or breaks in the skin.  While the infection can occur anywhere on the body, it most commonly occurs in the lower leg.  It can easily enter areas of disrupted skin, for example, puncture wounds, an ulcer, athlete's foot, or dermatitis.  Potential risk factors can include:

  • Open wound or recent injury (burn, scrape, or opening that gives bacteria an entry point)
  • History of Cellulitis (having had the condition can make you prone to future infection)
  • Skin conditions (eczema, dermatitis, athlete's foot, or shingles)
  • Weakened immune system
  • Obesity

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infection.  To improve both immune and gastrointestinal health, it is beneficial to take probiotics, especially if you take antibiotics to get rid of the infection.  Antibiotics can upset the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, but probiotics can help restore friendly bacteria.  Great probiotics to consume include kimchi, kefir, miso, fermented vegetables, or kombucha. 
  • Echinacea has long-since been used to naturally boost immune health.  Using Echinacea cream that contains at least 15% Echinacea extract can help remedy inflammatory skin conditions.  Before using Echinacea, be sure to establish whether or not you are allergic.  People with autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis should not take Echinacea because it can suppress immune function. 
  • Skin infections that cause redness or itching should be treated with an antifungal cream in conjunction with foods that contain antifungal properties (think garlic, ginger, rutabaga, pumpkin seeds, onion, and algae).  When using an antifungal cream to treat athlete's foot, shingles, or another infection like Cellulitis, it is imperative to wash hands after touching the infection to avoid spreading the bacteria. 
  • Since Cellulitis causes the skin to become red or swollen, it is beneficial to apply soothing essential oils with a carrier oil to reduce swelling and redness.  Coconut oil is an excellent carrier oil for topical application.  Chamomile essential oil, tea tree oil, and lavender essential oil can help the skin feel less inflamed. 
  • Gotu kola is a powerful herb with some remarkable health benefits.  Several studies have shown that gotu kola works to promote wound healing and can reduce the risk of infection.  A quick note is that people with high blood pressure or anxiety should not take gotu kola.  Gotu kola can also interact with a number of medications, so check with your doctor before taking it. 
  • Certain herbs can be applied to the skin when permitted by a medical professional.  Yarrow, calendula flower, fenugreek seed, tea tree oil, and golden seal root all contain anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation and redness associated with Cellulitis.  Some of these herbs can also fight infection and promote faster wound healing. 
Things you should eat
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Rutabaga
  • Spirulina
  • Echinacea
  • Thyme
  • Citrus Fruits (lemons, limes, oranges, & grapefruit)
  • Kombucha
  • Fermented Vegetables
  • Miso
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Wheat Germ
  • Raw Cacao Powder
  • Steel Cut Oats
Zinc Formula