Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Cellulitis treatment usually is a prescription oral antibiotic. Within three days of starting an antibiotic, let your doctor know whether the infection is responding to treatment. You'll need to take the antibiotic for up to 14 days. In most cases, signs and symptoms of cellulitis disappear after a few days. If they don't clear up, if they're extensive or if you have a high fever, you may need to be hospitalized and receive antibiotics through your veins (intravenously).

Usually, doctors prescribe a drug that's effective against both streptococci and staphylococci. Your doctor will choose an antibiotic based on your circumstances.

No matter what type of antibiotic your doctor prescribes, it's important that you take the medication as directed and that you finish the entire course of medication, even if you start feeling better.

Your doctor also might recommend elevating the affected area, which may speed recovery.

Feb. 23, 2012