What's Going Around

A skin infection caused by bacteria found on uncooked fish, meat and poultry or soil is going around this week. It's called cellulitis, and Physician Assistant Amanda Topper at Holt Family Practice, a partner of McLaren Greater Lansing is treating it.

Cellulitis usually gets into the skin through a cut, sore, or bug bite and spreads to deeper tissues. Older adults and people with weak immune systems can get cellulitis without having a break in the skin.

It can occur anywhere on the body. In adults, cellulitis usually shows up on the legs, face, or arms. In kids, it is common on the face or rear end. An infection on the face could lead to a dangerous eye infection.

At first, the affected area will be warm, red, swollen and tender.

See a doctor right away if you have an infected area of skin that is getting redder, more painful, larger or has red streaks extending from it. Same goes if you have a fever or chills, or if the infected area is on your face or groin.

Anyone with cellulitis needs to see a doctor for antibiotics.

Poison ivy is also keeping doctors busy this week, including those at Holt Family Practice.

Symptoms include an itchy, red, raised rash that appears in lines or streaks. The rash forms blisters that break open and ooze clear fluid. You may also have localized swelling or a feeling of warmth at the exposed area.

You can treat most poison ivy cases at home.

Wash the irritant off the skin as soon as possible with soap and hot water. Take an oral antihistamine and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. Use a cool compress, too.

See a doctor if you have a serious case.


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