To prevent recurring cellulitis, it is important to

  • Keep any disrupted areas of the skin clean.
  • Wash cuts, ulcers, and wounds gently with water. Then, apply a protective lotion or ointment and cover with a clean bandage, which has to be changed every day.
  • Avoid scratching insect bites (no matter how itchy or annoying they may be).
  • Regularly moisturize the skin to prevent dryness and flakiness.
  • Avoid sharing clothing, razors, and other personal items.
  • Clean exercise equipment before and after exercising.
  • Practice good hygiene and promptly treat any budding infection.

People with a compromised immune system, poor circulation, and/or other skin conditions need to take extra precautions by:

  • Regularly checking their feet for signs of infection;
  • Keeping the skin well hydrated by regularly applying moisturizer;
  • Carefully trimming fingernails and toenails, taking care to not cut through the skin; and
  • Seeking medical attention at first signs of infection, such as redness, tenderness, or pain.

Can cellulitis be prevented?

Yes, you can prevent cellulitis by maintaining good hygiene and looking after any disrupted areas of your skin. Don’t scratch insect bites, keep your skin well moisturized, and regularly wash any cuts, ulcers, or wounds. Avoid sharing personal items and disinfect your exercise equipment before and after exercising.

If you are at risk of recurring cellulitis, take extra precautions (see above).

What triggers cellulitis?

Poor hygiene, dry, flaky skin, presence of wounds in the skin can all trigger cellulitis.  

Can poor hygiene cause cellulitis?

Yes, poor hygiene can lead to bacteria entering the skin, causing cellulitis.

Does cellulitis stay in your system forever?

No, cellulitis can be cured with oral (by mouth) or intravenous (IV) antibiotics. However, people with poor circulation, diabetes or other immunosuppressive conditions, chronic swelling in the legs, or skin issues, may be at risk of recurrent cellulitis.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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