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How long before antibiotics heal cellulitis? My doctor said I should feel better in a few days. Well it’s been three days and i still feel horrible and my arm is still red and painful. Should i wait a little longer for the drugs to work or should I call m

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Hardin
Wound care
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Numerous factors

Recovery time fro m cellulitis varies widely due to many factors including how sensitive the bacteria are to the antibiotic.
As long as it isn't getting worse three days is ok. Be sure too take the entire prescription even if symptoms go away in a couple of days if not improving by day 5-7 then call the office. Make note that asking how long is a good question to ask the prescribier 1st visit.

In brief: Numerous factors

Recovery time fro m cellulitis varies widely due to many factors including how sensitive the bacteria are to the antibiotic.
As long as it isn't getting worse three days is ok. Be sure too take the entire prescription even if symptoms go away in a couple of days if not improving by day 5-7 then call the office. Make note that asking how long is a good question to ask the prescribier 1st visit.
Dr. David Hardin
Dr. David Hardin
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Dr. Michael Miller
Wound care

In brief: What's the cause ?

Cellulitis is basically a visible inflammation (itis) of the skin and soft tissues (red, hot, swollen and tender) .
It can be caused by many things including sunburn (radiation), trauma (sprained ankle) or poor vein circulation (stasis dermatitis). It need not be caused by bacteria. If you have repeated episodes of this, get to a wound care or vascular specialist, the diagnoses you have is wrong.

In brief: What's the cause ?

Cellulitis is basically a visible inflammation (itis) of the skin and soft tissues (red, hot, swollen and tender) .
It can be caused by many things including sunburn (radiation), trauma (sprained ankle) or poor vein circulation (stasis dermatitis). It need not be caused by bacteria. If you have repeated episodes of this, get to a wound care or vascular specialist, the diagnoses you have is wrong.
Dr. Michael Miller
Dr. Michael Miller
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1 comment
Dr. Michael Ein
Cellulitis is generally used in medical practice to described a bacterial infection of the skin and SQ tissues.
Dr. Mary Engrav
Emergency Medicine

In brief: Please

Please call your doctor. Cellulitis is an infection of the tissues under the skin, although it looks like it is on the skin.
Because it is deeper, it can take a while to show improvement, but after three days you should be improving. An antibiotic is chosen that covers most types of cellulitis when a patient is diagnosed with cellulitis, but not all antibiotics work for all infections, so you may need a change. If you have increasing redness, red streaks, fever, or increased pain you must be seen as an emergency.

In brief: Please

Please call your doctor. Cellulitis is an infection of the tissues under the skin, although it looks like it is on the skin.
Because it is deeper, it can take a while to show improvement, but after three days you should be improving. An antibiotic is chosen that covers most types of cellulitis when a patient is diagnosed with cellulitis, but not all antibiotics work for all infections, so you may need a change. If you have increasing redness, red streaks, fever, or increased pain you must be seen as an emergency.
Dr. Mary Engrav
Dr. Mary Engrav
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