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How soon to wrap/compress after Cellulitis?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:05 pm
by ckelly
Hi, I am new to this website which I found while googling. I have had secondary lymphedema in my left arm for nearly 13 years. It occurred post lymph node dissection for Stage 1 BC in 1997. I was 33 at the time, am 46 now.

I am recovering now from a bout with celluitis which started last Friday. Over the years I have had 2-3 "minor" infections -- where I was able nip it in the bud by taking an oral antibotic at the first sign of red spots -- and it never got any worse. However, this time, although I also started taking an oral antibiotic at the first sign of spots, the infection continued to spread until my entire arm was red, puffy, painful, warm and I had a 102 fever. I ended up in the ER, got IV antibiotics and was released on oral antibotics which I am to take for another few days.

At this point, the redness, pain, etc. is all gone -- however, the arm still looks very puffy. Not sure if this is from the infection or because I haven't wrapped or worn compression garments in a week. I'd like to get back to it but am getting conflicting info -- even from my doctors. I also have been googling and information on the internet seems conflicted as well

Do any of you have any advice from past experience? Please advise



Re: How soon to wrap/compress after Cellulitis?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:16 pm
by patoco
Hey Carolyn :)

I fall on the side that would say if the redness, pain and the other symptoms are gone - plus if you have beern on antibiotics for several days then it should be ok to begin wrapping again. That is what I have always done and have never had a problem as a result.

I too think that the puffiness is from not wrapping for a few days. I know that even one day without wrapping will cause my swelling to immediately get worse. To me, it is going to be important to get rid of the additional swelling as quickly as you can because - the more swelling - the more risk of infection.

Generally, if you've have a bag of IV antibiotic and have been on oral antibiotics for severals days the causative bacteria should well be eliminated.


Re: How soon to wrap/compress after Cellulitis?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:31 pm
by ckelly
Thank you Pat, that's what I thought but happy to have it confirmed by someone who actually has this disease.... and thank you for creating this site. I remember when I was first diagnosed 13 years ago, there wasn't much info out there. Seems to be a lot more now which is a good thing

Take care

Re: How soon to wrap/compress after Cellulitis?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:19 pm
by panther73
I had the same thing happen this past week. I was in the ER getting a dose of antibiotics. It is the first time I had it occur so I was a little late in getting to the ER. I thought I was sore from jogging and then I noticed the red spots. I have not been able to put my leg garments back on due to the soreness caused by the celulitis. Do most people go with wrapping the leg before they put the garments back on? I was just going to put the garments back on once my infection went away.

Re: How soon to wrap/compress after Cellulitis?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:35 am
by patoco
Hey Panter

( name :) ) As long as the infection is absolutely gone, it would be safe to do either. You should be able to go back to wearing the garment without having to wrap first.

Having been down this route so many times, I hope you don't have to experience it again. The general rule of thumb is that if you have any red spots to show up, be sure to get on antibiotics asap.

Some of the very early warning signs of cellulitis can be fever, chills, a terrible achiness, kind of like the flu, spacy feeling, general malaise or exhaustion when you usually don't feel that way. Also, many lymphers (including myself) get an unexplained down mood too. Generally, I'm not really a moody person, but now when I am down for no apparent reason, I'm on gaurd. Very odd, but a number have actually reported this.

Here's a couple pages of helpful info:

Lymphedema Cellulitis ... ulitis.htm

Prevention of Cellulitis ... ulitis.htm

Lymphedema Antibiotics ... iotics.htm

Infections Associated with Lymphedema ... lymphedema

Be well :!: :!:


Re: How soon to wrap/compress after Cellulitis?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:15 am
by panther73
I felt a good number of those symptoms. I told a friend of mine I felt like I had a really low blood sugar. It was a weird experience. Something I have never felt before.