Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infection that can affect individuals of all ages. Characterized by redness, swelling, and warmth in the affected area, cellulitis requires prompt and appropriate wound care to prevent complications. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best practices for caring for cellulitis wounds, with insights from the experts at West Coast Wound Center.

What is Cellulitis

cellulitis wound on a legCellulitis is often caused by bacteria entering the skin through a cut, scrape, or other breaks in the skin’s surface. Common bacteria responsible for cellulitis include Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. Early recognition and proper wound care are crucial to prevent the infection from spreading and causing more severe complications.

Recognizing the Symptoms: When to Worry

Before diving into wound care, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of cellulitis. Keep an eye out for:

  • Redness and swelling: Cellulitis typically causes a red, swollen area that may expand over time.
  • Pain or tenderness: The affected area may be painful to the touch.
  • Warmth: The skin around the infection site may feel warm.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s vital to seek medical attention at a wound care center promptly.

Cellulitis in the Lower Legs and Feet

Cellulitis in the lower leg is a common occurrence, often associated with compromised skin integrity in the area. It can result from injuries, cuts, or skin conditions. Extra care is needed in managing cellulitis on the lower leg due to the risk of complications.

Is Cellulitis Contagious?

While cellulitis itself is not directly contagious, the bacteria causing it can be. It spreads through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces. Maintaining good hygiene and avoiding contact with affected areas can help prevent its spread.

How Dangerous is Cellulitis Infection?

While cellulitis is usually treatable with antibiotics, complications can arise if left untreated. In severe cases, the infection may spread to the bloodstream or deeper tissues, leading to more serious conditions. Fast medical attention is crucial to prevent potential dangers.

Cellulitis in the Elderly

The elderly are more susceptible to cellulitis due to factors such as weakened immune systems and fragile skin. Special attention is required in managing cellulitis among older individuals to ensure effective treatment and prevent complications.

Seek Professional Medical Advice

Upon suspecting cellulitis, consult a wound care specialist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. At West Coast Wound Center, we emphasize the importance of early intervention to prevent complications such as abscess formation or the spread of infection to the bloodstream.

Wound Care Techniques for Cellulitis

Once diagnosed, proper wound care becomes a crucial aspect of managing cellulitis. Here are a few techniques and tips recommended by the experts at West Coast Wound Center:

Clean the Wound:

  • Gently clean the affected area with mild soap and water. Avoid harsh chemicals that may irritate the skin.
  • Pat the area dry with a clean, soft towel. Be careful not to rub the wound.

Apply Antibiotic Ointment:

  • After cleaning, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to the wound. This helps prevent infection and promotes healing.

Keep the Wound Covered:

  • Use a sterile bandage or dressing to cover the wound. This protects it from dirt, bacteria, and further injury.
  • Change the dressing regularly, especially if it becomes wet or dirty.

Additional Wound Care Tips:

Elevate the Affected Area:

  • Elevating the affected limb can help reduce swelling. Prop the area up with pillows whenever possible.

Manage Pain:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help manage pain and reduce inflammation. Follow the recommended dosage.

Stay Hydrated and Rest:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, which aids in the healing process. Get adequate rest to support your body’s immune response.

Watch for Warning Signs:

  • Keep an eye on the wound for any signs of worsening infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or drainage of pus. If you notice these symptoms, contact a wound care specialist immediately.

Preventing Cellulitis Recurrence

  • Practice Good Hygiene: Maintain good hygiene practices to prevent future cellulitis episodes. Regularly wash your hands and keep cuts and wounds clean to minimize the risk of bacterial entry.
  • Moisturize the Skin: Dry, cracked skin is more prone to infections. Use a gentle moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and intact, reducing the likelihood of bacterial penetration.
  • Avoid Insect Bites: Use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants to minimize the risk of insect bites.


Caring for cellulitis wounds requires a proactive and comprehensive approach. By following these guidelines, individuals can effectively manage cellulitis, promote healing, and reduce the risk of complications. If you suspect cellulitis or experience worsening symptoms, the specialized team at West Coast Wound Center is here to help; offering personalized advice and effective treatment. Remember, early intervention is key to a successful recovery.



2501 W Burbank Blvd #200, Burbank, CA 91505

Phone: (818) 856-9535

Fax: (818) 979-0593