Patient Comments: Cellulitis - Symptoms

The symptoms of cellulitis can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your initial symptoms?

Comment from: heidi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

Mine is under my arm; it is the size of a silver dollar, hard and a little red. I am sick to my stomach, very stiff, my whole body aches and I am very fatigued. I find it very hard to breathe at times and I walk everywhere. I get sweats and night chills at times.

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Comment from: Tracy79, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

My first experience with cellulitis was, I shaved and then went swimming in the lake. I thought nothing of it, till about 3 days later. I never experienced fever and chills but I had hot and cold flashes. I thought it was just a bad case of the flu so I took a shower. That night my leg swelled up and got so red, so fast. Elevating it felt good but as soon as I got up, the pain was unbearable. I ended up seeing a doctor and she gave me antibiotics but it wasn't till 2 weeks or more was I able to stand on my feet for long periods of time. That was 2 years ago. I recently am recovering from another cellulitis outbreak on the opposite leg. I am just wondering if once I get it am at risk in getting it again.

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Comment from: cdam112, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 22

My first symptoms began when I woke up and had a small, red, painful bump under my eye. Not thinking it was anything but maybe a pimple forming, I left it alone. The next day the redness and pain spread to my cheekbone and I noticed nodes on my jawline and behind my ear were so swollen that the pain was radiating toward my head. By the third day, the swelling had increased and the pain was still very present. The swelling started to affect my vision and I knew it was time to see a doctor. I was squeezed in to see a physician assistant the same day and was prescribed Bactrim and prednisone for a 7 and 5 day treatment. I was told to call back if it didn't get better in 48 hours and to possibly start an IV antibiotic because of the location of the swelling (the eye).

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Comment from: Shelley, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 14

I woke up on a Monday morning with a quarter sized red, sore mark below my left knee. By 3 am Tuesday, it was the size of a dinner plate, red, painful and sore. I went to the hospital and they prescribed me IV antibiotics at home for 3 days. By Wednesday afternoon, the redness had grown down my leg, the swelling was getting bad and the pain was getting intense. The nurse who came to change my IV told me to call an ambulance. I went back to emergency where they put another IV in me and admitted me. At its worst, the redness and swelling was well above my knee and down to my toes. The skin had started to overlap my toes. I was released on Friday with another 5 days of IV antibiotics and 10 days of oral antibiotics. I am on day 2 of the orals and the swelling is way down, the redness is still there and the pain is manageable. I spent a week and a half in a wheelchair unable to walk, but can now manage to get around on a cane.

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Comment from: Twiggy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

My cellulitis developed in the tissue around the eye. It was very inflamed and sore, worse still, it took doctors a long time to realize what it was, describing it as an allergy. Eventually I was given an antibiotic, after my eye closed over from the swelling; it was not a good experience. I seem to get it around every October, once I was hospitalized with an IV.

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Comment from: marie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I had had a cyst removed from the right side of my head just above my ear. In a couple of days I felt sick and had a headache. I went to the doctor as it was a Friday and I didn't want to end up in the emergency room on the weekend. The doctor sent me to a 24 hour surgery clinic where I was monitored for about 4 hours and there was no sign of cellulitis yet I felt sick and had a high temperature and a headache. I was sent to the hospital and luckily for me I had the head of infectious diseases on duty. He realized it was cellulitis in my face. They were going to cut my face open to drain the fluid, it was touch and go for 24 hours. I would have died had I not gone to the doctor, as it was I ended up staying in the hospital for a week and one side of my face was three times its normal size. If something in your body doesn't feel right its best to seek medical help.

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Comment from: Frustrated, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

I had tenderness on my right inner thigh for a couple of weeks before the large red mark appeared. Looked like a whitish circle around the red area. The doctor first thought it was a bite. Though the thigh was tender, after a couple of days pain began through my whole body, neck to toe. I went to the emergency room because the pain was so bad. The emergency room doctor said it was cellulitis, not a bite. They changed my antibiotic and pain pill. I went back to the doctor again for follow-up and the pain was even worse. I have a herniated disc between c5 and c6 vertebrae so the doctor sent me back to the surgeon. The surgeon thought it was carpal tunnel and was prepared to do surgery. He ordered EMG and it was determined that it was not carpel tunnel and he didn't know what was causing pain. I slept in recliner for almost 2 weeks and could not even get out of bed at times because the pain was so excruciating, especially in my upper body. I told the surgeon I needed blood work to see if infection had spread to my bloodstream. All tests showed high inflammation. My doctor then sent me to a rheumatologist. There was more blood work, we still can't find why I was in so much pain. The rheumatologist sent me for a bilateral temporal biopsy. That was negative. Still seeing doctors and have been on steroids. The pain is gone now, but no one can really tell me if it was the cellulitis that caused the excruciating pain through my whole body or what. It is still a mystery. This all begin end of July 2013 and it is now mid-October. Really? I still say it was from cellulitis, but who am I, not the doctor of course.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Cellulitis - Treatments Question: What was your treatment for cellulitis?
Cellulitis - Causes Question: What was the cause of your cellulitis?
Cellulitis - Infection Question: Please describe your experience with a cellulitis infection.

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